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ISRO delays Chandrayaan-2 to July

An unnamed official at India’s space agency ISRO has revealed that they have decided to further delay its lunar lander/rover Chandrayaan-2 until July following the landing failure of SpaceIL’s Beresheet on the Moon.

“We saw Israel’s example and we don’t want to take any risk. Despite Israel being such a technologically advanced country, the mission failed. We want the mission to be a success,” he said.

The launch of India’s Moon mission was scheduled in April but it was postponed after Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft crashed during moon landing early this month. The ambitious mission was a first for a private effort.

“Landing on the Moon is a very complex mission and all the exigencies have to be factored in,” the official added.

No reason was given for the delay, other than a desire to be cautious. While caution is often a wise thing in experimental engineering, too much caution can be a fatal flaw. Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2018. It has now been delayed repeatedly since then, with the only hint of a reason being an unconfirmed story suggesting it was damaged during ground tests.

If this damage is the reason, then ISRO should tell us. Otherwise, the agency is beginning to look like it is afraid to fly.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • “We saw Israel’s example and we don’t want to take any risk.”

    “. . . the agency is beginning to look like it is afraid to fly.”

    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”

    John A. Hopper

  • Edward

    “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” — Grace Hopper Or maybe John A. Shedd.

    Often, in aerospace, when a problem happens to someone else then caution goes around the industry. “What happened, and do we already protect against that on our systems?

    A couple of decades ago, a southern California shake table over-shook a satellite (an anomaly) during testing, causing some damage to the satellite. An indirect cause was that the test crew had not tested the shake table with a dummy mass, after several months of non-use, before testing the satellite in order to verify the table was working properly. My boss, at the time, had me check with our own test crew that they verified our own shake tables when they were not used for more than three months. The answer was yes, as we had seen them do on several occasions, but the managers became cautious and needed reassurance that we were not vulnerable to the same problem to our satellites.

    My speculation is that India may be attempting to verify that whatever happened with the Israeli IMU and its interaction with the engines and thrusters will not happen to their own lander. They may also be reviewing as many other instrumentation interactions as they can, too.

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