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Israel likely to beat India in moon mission race as Chandrayaan-2 launch postponed for next year

India’s formidable lunar probe mission, Chandrayaan-2, has hit one other roadblock due to technical glitches and has been postponed for next year. After a number of delays, the launch date of Chandrayaan-2 was finally set in October nevertheless it has now been shifted February next year. 

The new delay could give Israel an opportunity to turn into the fourth nation to make a smooth touchdown on the moon’s floor. Israel, by a non-profit group named SpaceIL, plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon in February in the primary touchdown of its variety since 2013.

So far, solely 4 nations – the US, Russi and China – have efficiently landed rovers on Moon with final being China’s Chang’e three in December 2013. If Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is profitable in its ‘Chandrayaan-2’ mission earlier than February, India might be solely the fourth nation to achieve this. 

However, it’s unlikely that ISRO would succeed in beating Israel. According to an NDTV report, the launch date for Chandryaan-2 “is slipping to 2019”, Dr M Annadurai, Director of UR Rao Satellite Centre stated. ISRO now plans to land the rover in February next year and rocket launch is likely to happen in January. 

Dr Annadurai stated that the mission will now use GSLV MK-III rocket as a substitute of GSLV MK-II as the burden of the Chandrayaan-2 rover has elevated. 

“The rover is also being tested in a simulated lunar terrain environment. All things put together we will be able to manage end of this year to roll out all the three combinations from the ISRO Satellite Center in Bengaluru to Sriharikota,” Dr Annadurai instructed the TV channel. 


According to ISRO, Chandrayaan-2 is a “totally indigenous mission comprising an orbiter, lander and rover”. The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft weighing round three,290 kg would orbit across the moon and carry out the aims of distant sensing the moon.

“The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice,” ISRO stated on its web site concerning the lunar mission.

ISRO chairman Ok Sivan had stated in March this year that the “targeted date” of April was shifted to October. The window to launch the Rs 800 crore mission was between April and November 2018, he had stated. 

ISRO had launched its maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 in 2008.

Israel’s moon mission

Israeli non-profit SpaceIL plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon on February 13 in the primary touchdown of its variety since 2013.

The craft is about to blast off in December from Florida’s Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Ido Anteby, chief government of the SpaceIL non-profit, stated final month. 

The spacecraft, which is formed like a roundtable with 4 carbon fibre legs, goals to transmit footage and movies again to earth as properly as measuring magnetic fields.

SpaceIL was based in 2011 by a gaggle of engineers with a funds of about $90 million. It is backed primarily by personal donors, together with US on line casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and billionaire Morris Kahn who co-founded Amdocs.

Since 1966, the United States and the previous Soviet Union have put round 12 unmanned spacecraft on the moon utilizing braking energy to carry out “soft” landings and China did so in 2013.

(With companies) 

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