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India launches mission to the moon after calling off previous attempt

Andrew Griffin

India has launched its mission to the Moon.

Space agency Isro successfully shot its Chandrayaan-2 into space and off to the lunar surface.

It came just a week after engineers cancelled a previous attempt at the launch because of a "technical snag" which meant the rocket was unable to fly.

Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for "moon craft," is designed to land on the lunar south pole and send a rover to explore water deposits that were confirmed by a previous mission that orbited the moon.

India's launch a week ago was called off less than an hour before liftoff due to a "technical snag."

Indian media reports said the launch was aborted after ISRO scientists identified a leak while filling helium in the cryogenic engine of the rocket. The ISRO neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying instead that the problem had been identified and corrected.

The spacecraft carries an orbiter, a lander and a rover which will move around on the lunar surface for 14 earth days. It will take around 47 days to travel and land on the moon in September.

India's Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water.

India plans to send its first manned spaceflight by 2022.

Additional reporting by agencies