Last year the world saw how India was ahead with the launch of its lunar exploration mission which was successfully developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation, after Chandrayaan-1. It consisted of the Vikram lander, a lunar orbiter & the Pragyan lunar rover all developed in India. The mission as launched on July, 22 last year at the Satish Dhawan space centre. However, the lander deviated at 2.1 km altitude from its intended trajectory & lost communication. And, with this ISROsoon confirmed that they would be re-attempting a soft landing somewhere in November 2020.
The same launch has now been pushed to 2021 as ISRO is currently working on the Chandrayaan-3 project. Speaking on the same ISRO chairman K Sivan said, “Government has approved Chandrayaan-3, the project is ongoing. However, the project might take 14-16 months, which could result in works being pushed to 2021.”
As Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander saw a hard landing leading to a crash at the lunar surface, Chandrayaan-3 which is the successor of Chandrayaan-2 will be attempting a soft landing at the lunar space. The new mission will also consist of a rover, lander & a propulsion module. Information on the functioning of Chandrayaan-3 with a list of scientific instruments that will be carried to the Moon with the mission is yet to be updated by the website of ISRO. However, Sivan said that the work for the mission is already going on smoothly with the space agency forming the Chandrayaan-3 project team.
The total cost of Chandrayaan-3 mission would be more than 600 crores as compared to Chandrayaan-2 mission which was priced at 960 crores. Sivan bifurcated the costs saying that the rover, lander & propulsion module will cost 250 crores & the launch of the mission will cost 350 crores which will make the total of 615 crores. Sivan further added that land has also been acquired for initiating a second spaceport. And, it will be in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.
Gaganyaan is another mission that India is going to launch in 2020 & ISRO is working simultaneously on both the missions of Chandrayaan-3 & Gaganyaan. An advisory committee has also been created for Gaganyaan & they have also identified four astronauts who will soon be trained in Russia from the third week of January 2020.