- India plans to execute the Chandrayaan-3 mission this August, Minister Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
- Though the government had stated that the mission was scheduled for 2022, this is the first time that a specific month has been announced.
- The Chandrayaan-3 mission is a follow-up of Chandrayaan-2 of July 2019, which aimed to land a rover on the lunar South Pole.
- It was sent aboard the country’s most powerful geosynchronous launch vehicle, the GSLV-Mk 3.
- However, lander Vikram, instead of a controlled landing, ended up crash-landing on September 7, 2019, and prevented rover Pragyaan from successfully travelling on the surface of the moon.
- The last major satellite launches by the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) were the Earth Observation Satellite-3 in August last and the Amazonia satellite in February.
- The ISRO has planned 19 missions until December consisting of eight launch vehicle missions, seven spacecraft missions and four technology demonstrator missions.
- The ISRO has been allotted ₹13,700 crore for this financial year, nearly ₹1,000 crore more than it spent last year.
- In the second phase of the Chandrayaan programmeto demonstrate soft landing on the Moon, ISRO launched Chandrayaan-2 onboard a GSLV Mk III launch vehicle consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
- The lander was scheduled to touchdown on the lunar surface in September 2019 to deploy the Pragyan rover.
- Earlier reports had emerged about a collaboration with Japanon a mission to the lunar south pole where India would be providing the lander while Japan would provide both launcher and rover.
- The mission may include site sampling and lunar night survival technologies.
- The subsequent failure of the Vikram lander led to the pursuit of another mission to demonstrate the landing capabilities needed for the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission proposed in partnership with Japan for 2024
- The lander for Chandrayaan-3 will have only four throttle-able engines, unlike Vikramon Chandrayaan-2 which had five 800 Newtons engines with a fifth one being centrally mounted with a fixed thrust.
- Additionally, the Chandrayaan-3 lander will be equipped with a Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV).
Source: THE HINDU.