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India launches mission to moon on its second try

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Christian Fernsby |
Chandrayaan-2
Asia   Chandrayaan-2

India launced its Chandrayaan-2 rocket, which has started its journey to the moon.

It's India's second attempt to launch the unmanned lunar mission and to further its dreams of space exploration.

Chandrayaan-2, which means "moon craft" in ancient Sanskrit, launched as planned at 2:43 p.m.

from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on India's southeastern coast.

It is expected to make a soft landing in the moon's south pole region in early September — a feat that would make India the fourth country to make a controlled landing on the moon's surface, after the United States, Russia and China.

After the landing, a moon rover will explore water deposits India discovered on a previous moon mission, 11 years ago.

That first lunar spacecraft, Chandrayaan-1, used radar to map the moon's surface but did not touch down on the moon.

The new mission could help scientists chart potential sources of water and learn more about how the solar system formed billions of years ago.

Monday's launch marked India's second attempt to launch the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Last week, the Indian Space Research Organization called off the event less than an hour before liftoff, citing a "technical snag."


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