India’s space agency said Thursday that it would carry out the launch of its unmanned mission to explore the Moon's unchartered South Pole next week after the initial attempt was called off a few days earlier due to a technical snag.
This will be India’s second Moon mission, dubbed Chandrayaan-2, to explore a part of the satellite that has not been closely examined so far.
"Chandrayaan-2 launch is now rescheduled on 22nd July, 2019 at 14:43 hrs (9.13 GMT) from second launch pad of SDSC (Satish Dhawan Space Centre), Sriharikota (in southern India)," the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said in a statement.
The space agency had suspended the earlier launch on Monday morning barely an hour before the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft scheduled to take off.
“The expert committee identified the root cause of the technical snag and all corrective actions are implemented. Thereafter, the system performance is normal," said ISRO.
This is India's second Moon mission after Chandrayaan-1 in November 2008, which did not land on the lunar surface.
In this follow-up mission, India seeks to explore the Moon's South Pole and make further probes into its mineral composition and the presence of water.
Chandrayaan-2, if successful, will make India the fourth country in an elite club of nations to have made a surface landing on the moon, a feat only achieved by Russia, the United States and China so far.
India, with one of the world's most active space programs, started putting satellites into orbit around Earth in 1999.
ISRO had a budget of some $1.32 billion in 2017-18 compared to NASA's $19.5 billion budget for 2019.
Despite its limited resources, ISRO has carved out a name for itself in the global space race with its Moon and Mars missions, as well as its communication satellites and remote sensing technologies, spurring many countries to choose the Indian space agency to launch their satellites.
Last month, ISRO announced plans to put its own space station into orbit in the near future. It also has other goals in sight such as missions to Venus and the Sun, as well as its first manned mission to space. EFE-EPA