The Chandrayaan-2 launch scheduled on July 15 was halted due to some technical snag while there were some myrmurs surfacing whether the launch will take place or not.
ISRO scientists were running out of time due to the nature of the snag and short launch window.
But Isro chairman K Sivan never had any doubts. Son of a farmer, Sivan is familiar with rocket technology, having headed the Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, for several years. Some even call him the ‘Rocket Man’.
Soon after the glitch was detected, he set up a small high-level committee to look into the nature of the snag and requested the entire team to work hard to fix the problem soon. Not only the snag was fixed within a day but all corrective measures were taken immediately while the rocket was still on the launchpad.
After taking all safety measures, Isro quickly announced the new launch date (July 22) as the launch window was lapsing on July 31 and the next possible launch window would have been in September.
On Monday afternoon, Isro scientists were an anxious lot till both fuel tanks of the cryo upper stage were filled with liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Once the rocket lifted off and released the lunarcraft into the geo-transfer orbit after around 17 minutes, the Chandrayaan-2 team, led by project director Muthayya Vanitha and mission director Ritu Karidhal, heaved a sigh of relief.
The post-launch speech of Sivan showed that the snag had been the centrepoint of all his worries in the last seven days.