ISRO Chandrayaan: Work on Chandrayaan 3 has started and it is going in full swing! The information was given by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Sivan while he was talking to ANI. At the beginning of the year, Sivan had announced that Chandrayaan 3 had been approved by the Indian government. This development has come shortly after it and signifies that Indian space organisation is serious on having its lander reach the moon to make India only the fourth country to achieve the feat after the US, Russian and China and first to land on lunar south pole.
ISRO Chief K Sivan on being asked ‘does ISRO look at manned mission to the Moon?’: Definitely someday but not immediately. pic.twitter.com/hhNbMIfshL
- ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2020
What will Chandrayaan 3 accomplish?
Chandrayaan 3 is India's third planned lunar mission, which will be carried out by ISRO. The lunar mission will follow on the path of Chandrayaan 2, but will only include a rover and a lander, as it will use the same orbiter deployed in the Chandrayaan 2 mission. The ISRO aims to deploy its lander on the south pole of the Moon, a step not taken by the other three countries due to the difficult terrain of that region. The south pole is important because the presence of frozen water was detected there by Chandrayaan 1 in 2008.
Why is Chandrayaan 3 important?
The success of Chandrayaan 3 holds additional importance after the Vikram lander from Chandrayaan 2 failed to achieve the soft landing as intended in September 2019. The moment was significant for the Indian space programme as well the world's space community as the mission would ascertain whether water was present on the Earth's natural satellite or not. After the first attempt of Chandrayaan 2, the ISRO will now design Chandrayaan 3 on the lines of the second lunar mission and include precautionary measures based on the data received from Vikram Lander in its last minutes, Sivan had announced earlier.
What had happened to Chandrayaan 2's Vikram lander?
Chandrayaan 2 had deployed an orbiter, a moon lander and a moon rover from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on July 22, 2019. While the orbiter was successfully unloaded, the lander was to touch the lunar surface in an attempted soft landing at the south pole of the moon in early September, last year. However, while landing, the lander deviated from its trajectory. Since the mission was automated, the scientists sitting at ISRO headquarters could not rectify the deviation. Soon after, the lander's communication with the headquarters broke and the lander stopped transmission of data. The ISRO chief had then said that the lander must have had a hard landing and as a result, crashed onto the lunar surface.
Currently, Chandrayaan 3 is likely to be undertaken in November 2020, however, it is not confirmed yet. However, with India's third attempted lunar mission, the world's eye will be surely set on ISRO.
On Wednesday, Sivan also informed ANI that four men have been finalised for India's first manned mission to space, Gaganyaan, and they will be trained for the mission in Russia. He said that the first Indian in space, Rakesh Sharma, had gone to space in a Russian module in 1984, however, this time, Indian astronauts would be going to space in an Indian module itself.