The GSLV-Mk III rocket is scheduled to lift off at 2:43 pm later today.

The countdown for Monday’s Chandrayaan-2 mission launch that started at 6:43 pm on Sunday is advancing steadily, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

The rocket and spacecraft systems are anticipated to undergo checks and fuelling during the countdown. The rocket is scheduled to lift off at 2:43 pm later.

The fuelling of the second stage/engine with unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) has ended.

The GSLV-Mk III rocket with Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft was initially scheduled for flight at 2:51 am on July 15. However, a technical snag was detected an hour before the rocket lift-off, resulting in the postponement of the flight.

The ISRO rectified the technical error in its 44-meter Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III). The GSLV-Mk III rocket is nicknamed ‘Bahubali’ after the protagonist of a blockbuster film of the same name, as it weighs about 640-tonne,

The rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, just like the protagonist of the film hauled a weighty Lingam in one of its scenes,

About 16-minutes into its flight, the Rs. 375-crore GSLV-Mk III rocket is supposed to sling the Rs. 603-crore Chandrayaan-2 into its 170×39, 120-km orbit.

ISRO has sent three GSLV-Mk III rockets so far in the space. The first took Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment in December 2014. The second and third GSLV-Mk III carried communication satellites GSAT-19 and GSAT-29 in February 2017 and November 2018 respectively.

In India’s manned space mission in 2022, GSLV-Mk III will also be used.


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