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A fuel leak in the rocket engine forced India to abort the launch of its landmark Moon mission less than one hour before liftoff, media reports said Tuesday.
A committee of experts was looking into the causes of the problem that put back the bid to become just the fourth nation—after Russia, the United States and China—to land a spacecraft on the Moon.
Minutes - Seconds - Launch - Chandrayaan-2—or - Moon
Having halted the countdown 56 minutes and 24 seconds before the scheduled launch of Chandrayaan-2—or Moon Chariot 2—the Indian Space Research Organisation gave no explanation for what it called a "technical snag" in the rocket nor a date for a new attempt.
"As a measure of abundant precaution Chandrayaan-2 launch has been called off," ISRO said.
Times - India - Mission - Scientist - Leak
However, the Times of India quoted a senior mission scientist as saying there had been a leak in the GSLV-MkIII rocket's helium fuel component.
"After filling helium, we found the pressure was dropping, indicating there was a leak," the unnamed scientist said adding that it was possible there were "multiple leaks".
Mission - Launch - Sequence - Hindustan - Times
"We were lucky that the mission did not enter the automatic launch sequence else all would have been lost," the Hindustan Times quoted a senior ISRO official as saying.
The report added that scientists were "racing to plug the leak" in time for a new launch window at the end of July.
Experts - Mission - Chiefs - Liftoff
Experts said Indian mission chiefs would be cautious about trying a new liftoff.
"If the launch does not happen in the next 48 hours, it could be postponed for a few months until we get an opportune launch window," said Ravi Gupta, a scientist formerly with the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation.
India has spent about...
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