India’s third moon mission—Chandrayaan 3—will be launched in the first half of 2021, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.
“The tentative launch schedule for Chandrayaan–III is the first half of 2021. Chandrayaan–III mission has been configured based on the lessons learned from Chadrayaan – II,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh said in a written response to a question in Lok Sabha.
In his reply, Singh said that the revised configuration in Chandrayaan-3 takes care of the robustness in design, capacity enhancement for mission flexibility and at the same time retained the heritage of Chandrayaan-II to the extent possible, news agency PTI reported. Earlier this year in January, ISRO chairman K Sivan had told the press that the new mission will have a lander, rover, and a propulsion module.
India’s ambitious project that aimed to land a spacecraft on the moon remained unfulfilled as the Vikram lander onboard the Chandrayaan-2 mission, launched in July last year, failed to make a soft-landing on Moon. Just a few hundred metres from the lunar surface, the spacecraft had developed problems in the last stages of its descent and was unable to reduce its speed at the required rate. It had crash-landed on the moon’s surface. The Indian space agency had then resolved to launch the project again.
However, the Orbiter module of Chandrayaan-2, which is meant to orbit the moon and collect observational data over the next seven years, has been functioning normally.
Elaborating on the progress made on the Gaganyaan project, Singh said hardware realisation has commenced for ground tests. He also said that the flight training of four astronaut candidates has also commenced in Russia.
“Four biological and two physical science experiments related to microgravity from academic institutions are short-listed…,” Singh said.
National collaboration for design, development and delivery of human-centric products such as crew medical kit, crew health monitoring system, emergency survival kit, dosimeters, earmuffs and fire suppression system has also started, Singh added.
A three-week training programme for flight surgeon was also completed at ISRO with participation of CNES, the space agency of France, the minister told.