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India launches rocket to far side of moon – just days after aborted take-off

India's space agency has launched an unmanned spacecraft to the far side of the moon just a week after aborting the mission due to a technical problem.

The Chandrayaan rocket lifted off from a site in Sriharikota, off the Bay of Bengal, as scheduled at 2.43pm local time (10.13am UK time) on Monday.

Named after the Sanskrit word for mooncraft, Chandrayaan is designed to land on the lunar south pole in September and send a rover to explore water deposits that were confirmed by a 2008 mission which orbited the moon.

Image: The rocket was launched off the Bay of Bengal

Last week's launch of the $141m (£113m) mission was called off less than an hour before lift-off due to a "technical snag".

Media reports said it was aborted after a leak was discovered while filling helium in the rocket's cryogenic engine.

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The space agency neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying instead that the problem had been identified and corrected.

The spacecraft is carrying an orbiter, a lander and a rover that will move around on the lunar surface for 14 earth days.

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The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan-2 (Moon Chariot 2), on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-mark III-M1), launches in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh on July 22, 2019
Image: Chandrayaan is named after the Sanskrit word for mooncraft

It will take about 47 days to travel before landing on the moon in September.

India, which put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation's first interplanetary mission in 2013 and 2014, plans to send its first manned spaceflight by 2022.

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