Chandrayaan-3, India’s third mission to Moon, is likely to be launched in 2022, ISRO chief K Sivan has said. The Covid-19 lockdown has hit several projects of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) including Chandrayaan-3, which was scheduled to be launched in late 2020, and Gaganyaan, the country’s first manned space mission.
Unlike its predecessor, Chandrayaan-3 will not have an orbiter. “We are working on it. It is the same configuration like Chandrayaan-2 but it will not have an orbiter. The orbiter launched during Chandrayaan-2 will be used for Chandrayaan-3. With that we are working on a system and mostly the launch will be next year in 2022,” Sivan told PTI.
Chandrayaan-2, aimed at landing a rover on unchartered Lunar South Pole, was launched on July 22, 2019 on board the country’s most powerful geosynchronous launch vehicle.
However, the lander Vikram hard-landed on September 7, 2019, crashing India’s dream to become the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.
Chandrayaan-3 is critical for ISRO as it will demonstrate India’s capabilities to make landing for further interplanetary missions.