- Chandrayaan-3’s configuration will be similar to that of Chandrayaan-2
- Isro chief said that all activities related to the third lunar mission are going on smoothly
- K Sivan also said that there will be more than space 25 missions this year
Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Sivan on Wednesday announced that India’s third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 is on and has been approved by the government. The Chandrayaan-3 mission is slated to launch in 2021.
K Sivan said that the Chandrayaan-3’s configuration will be similar to that of its predecessor, the Chandrayaan-2. This means that the Chandrayaan-3 will also have a lander and a rover with a propulsion module.
In a press conference, the Isro chief said that all activities related to the third lunar mission are going on smoothly and added that the Chandrayaan-3 will not affect other satellite programs.
Apart from the Chandrayaan-3, Isro chief K Sivan also mentioned that there will be more than space 25 missions this year.
On the landing location of the Chandrayaan-3, K Sivan said that Isro is planning for landing at the same location as the Chandrayaan-2, the lander of which crash-landed on the moon surface just moments before it was supposed to soft-land.
Isro chief K Sivan also spoke about the cost of the upcoming Chandrayaan-3 mission and said that the lander and rover of the third lunar mission will cost approximately Rs 250 crore. The entire cost of the mission, however, will be Rs 250 plus 365 crores, K Sivan said.
The total cost of the Chandrayaan-2 mission was Rs 960 crore.
K Sivan also said that preparations for the Gaganyaan mission are going on simultaneously with the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft that is intended to send 3 astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days by 2022, as part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
The spacecraft, which is being developed by the Isro, consists of a service module and a crew module, collectively known as the Orbital Module.
K Sivan, in the press conference, also spoke about the possible reasons which led to the crash landing of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander.
He said that while the rough breaking phase went as it was supposed to go, the velocity was not reduced in the second phase due to which, in the third phase, the lander went out of control leading to a hard landing.
Chandrayaan-2’s lander Vikram and rover were scheduled to land on the near side of the Moon, in the south polar region September 6 last year and conduct scientific experiments for one lunar day, which approximates two Earth weeks.
However, Vikram lander deviated from its intended trajectory lost communication when touchdown confirmation was expected. A successful soft landing would have made India fourth country after USSR, US and PRC to do so.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh also on Tuesday had said that India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020 and had asserted that the mission will cost less than the previous lunar mission, Chanrayaan-2.
Singh, who is the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, had said it is wrong to term Chandrayaan-2 as a disappointment since it was India’s maiden attempt to land on the lunar surface and no country could do so in its first attempt.
“Yes, the lander and rover mission will mostly likely happen in 2020. However, as I have said before, the Chandrayaan-2 mission cannot be called a failure as we have learnt a lot from it. There is no country in the world that has landed on its first attempt. The US took several attempts. But we will not need so many attempts,” Singh said.
He added that the experience gathered from Chandrayaan-2 and available infrastructure will bring down the cost of Chandrayaan-3.