The 143-foot-tall (43.5-meter) GSLV Mk.3 rocket rolls out of its assembly building with the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft on-board. Credit: ISRO
The 143-foot-tall (43.5-meter) rocket that will send aloft India’s Chandrayaan 2 moon mission Sunday has arrived on its launch pad on the Indian east coast.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk.3, or GSLV Mk.3, is set for liftoff at 2121 GMT (5:21 p.m. EDT) Sunday from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, India’s spaceport on the coast with the Bay of Bengal around 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Chennai.
The launch is timed for 2:51 a.m. local time Monday in India.
The GSLV Mk.3 is India’s most powerful launcher. Indian space agency officials last year switched the launch of the Chandrayaan 2 mission from the less capable GSLV Mk.2 rocket after the spacecraft’s mass grew to exceed the mission’s original design.
The all-Indian launch vehicle and the moon-bound Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building on July 7 at the space base, located on Sriharikota Island, on a mobile platform for the journey to the Second Launch Pad.
The rollout occurred after technicians stacked the launch vehicle’s components on the mobile launch platform inside the assembly building, ...