ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 launch schedule revealed, Gaganyaan mission on track

FE Online

Indicating a delay in India’s third moon mission, Union Minister Jitender Singh has informed the Lok Sabha of the scheduled launch of the Chandrayaan-3. The ambitious plan will take-off in the first half of next year. The minister has said that the country’s space organisation ISRO has learned its lessons from the setback of Chandrayaan-2 and hence the design and implementation of the Chandrayaan-3 have been taken care of keeping those shortcomings in mind. He appraised the lower house of ISRO's simultaneous effort to launch Chandrayaan -3 and India's first manned Lunar mission Gaganyaan.

The Union Minister also said that the upgraded configuration in Chandrayaan-3 will make the spacecraft more robust in terms of design and it will also have an enhanced spacecraft capacity without compromising with the heritage of Chandrayaan-2. ISRO chairman K Sivan in 2019 had revealed that the spacecraft for India’s next mission to the moon will have a lander, rover, and a propulsion module.

Revealing the details on the progress made by ISRO on the Gaganyaan mission, the Union Minister elaborated that the ISRO has started hardware realisation for the ground test as well as the space flight training of four astronaut candidates for Gaganyaan. He further said that the development and delivery of products essential for human presence in the Gaganyaan mission have already commenced. These products range from medical kits such as crew medical kit, crew health monitoring system, dosimeters, earmuffs to fire suppression systems. He highlighted the role of CNES, France’s space agency in training the flight surgeon which lasted three weeks at ISRO.

India's aim to land a spacecraft on the moon remains to be fulfilled as the Vikram lander onboard the Chandrayaan-2 mission had failed to land softly on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 had developed glitches and could not reduce its speed to the optimum landing speed when the lunar surface was just about 100 meters in sight. ISRO chairman K Sivan vowed to relaunch the project by the end of 2020.