Chandrayaan-3, India’s third mission to the moon, is expected to launch in 2022, ISRO chief K Sivan said.
The COVID-19 lockdown has hit several Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) projects, including Chandrayaan-3, which was due to launch in late 2020, and Gaganyaan, the country’s first manned space mission.
Unlike its predecessor, Chandrayaan-3 will not have an orbiter.
“We’re working on it. It’s the same setup as Chandrayaan-2 but it won’t have an orbiter. The orbiter launched during Chandrayaan-2 will be used for Chandrayaan-3. With that, we’re working on a system and most importantly The launch will take place next year in 2022, ”Sivan told PTI.
Chandrayaan-2, aimed at landing a rover on the un-chartered lunar south pole, was launched on July 22, 2019 aboard the country’s most powerful geosynchronous launcher.
However, the Vikram lander landed on September 7, 2019, shattering India’s dream of becoming the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface on its first attempt.
Chandrayaan-3 is essential for ISRO as it will demonstrate India’s capabilities to land for other interplanetary missions.
He said ISRO is targeting December to launch the first unmanned mission under the Gaganyaan Project. The mission was originally scheduled to be launched in December last year.
It will be followed by another unmanned mission and the third stage is the main module, he said.
Gaganyaan plans to send three Indians to space by 2022. The four test pilots selected for the mission are currently in training at RChandrayaan-3, India’s third mission to the moon, which is slated to launch in 2022, ISRO chief K Sivan said.
Asked about the launch of Gaganyaan’s third module – the manned mission – Mr. Sivan said: “A lot of technology needs to be demonstrated. We will decide the timing (of the manned mission) after checking if all the technology is perfect. ”