SRIHARIKOTA, India (AP) — The Latest on India’s launch of an unmanned spacecraft to the far side of the moon (all times local):
India’s space agency says it has launched an unmanned spacecraft to the far side of the moon a week after aborting the mission due to a technical problem.
Scientists at the mission control center burst into applause as the rocket lifted off in clear weather as scheduled at 2:43 p.m. (0913 GMT) Monday.
Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft,” is designed to land on the lunar south pole in September and send a rover to explore water deposits that were confirmed by a previous mission that orbited the moon.
India’s first moon mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water.
India plans to send its first manned spaceflight by 2022.
India is ready to launch a rocket to the far side of the moon a week after aborting the mission due to a technical problem.
The Indian Space Research Organization said Monday that fueling the 640-ton rocket launcher with liquid oxygen had begun in preparation for the Chandrayaan-2 mission liftoff scheduled for 2:43 p.m., a day after scientists celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put American astronauts on the moon.