ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 launch may take place in 2021

Chandrayaan-2 being launched in 2019 (File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): The Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to launch ‘Chandrayaan-3’, its new Moon mission early next year, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.

Singh also said that ‘Chandrayaan-3’ will not have an orbiter and only a rover and lander will be sent to the lunar surface.

He added Chandrayaan-3 will be like a repeat mission of ‘Chandrayaan-2’, which was launched on July 22, 2019.

The mission, however, has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and the follow-up lockdowns. The launch which was planned for later this year will now take off for the Lunar surface sometime in early 2021.

“As for Chandrayaan-3, the launch may now take place somewhere in early 2021. Chandrayaan-3 will be a mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 and will include a Lander and Rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2, but will not have an orbiter,” a statement quoting Singh said.

Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 last year, which was planned to land on the South Pole of the Moon.

However, the lander Vikram hard-landed on September 7, crashing India’s dream to become the first nation to successfully touch down on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.

The orbiter of the mission is working fine and has been sending data. Isro had indicated that the third moon mission will utilise the orbiter already in the lunar orbit.

Meanwhile, preparations are going on for India’s first-ever Human Space mission Gaganyaan, Singh said, adding that, the training processes and other procedures are also in place.

“Constraints due to the COVID pandemic led to some disruptions in the plan for Gaganyaan but efforts are going on to stick to the timeline of around 2022,” he added.

-RJV