ISRO to launch ‘Chandrayaan-3’ Mission

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After an unsuccessful bid two months ago, India may attempt another soft landing on the Moon by next year-end, probably in November, ISRO sources said on Thursday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation had constituted a high-level committee, headed by S Somanath, Director of Thiruvanathapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the lead centre responsible for all launch vehicle programmes of ISRO, to prepare a report on the proposed Chandrayaan 3.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission will only comprise a lander and a rover given the orbiter is in a good condition. The overview committee met on Tuesday to review the configuration of the third moon mission. The meeting also took notice of recommendations of several sub-committees on propulsion, sensors, overall engineering, navigation and guidance.

India’s mission to soft-land on moon suffered a setback in September 2019, with the ‘Vikram’ module losing communication with ground stations, just 2.1 km from the lunar surface during its final descent. Considered the most complex stage of the country’s second expedition to the moon, the Lander was on a powered descent for a soft landing when it lost communication.

The Chandrayaan 2 mission cost Rs 978 crore (satellite cost Rs 603 crore, GSLV MK III cost Rs 375 crore). India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV Mk III-M1 successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the Earth’s orbit on July 22, 2019.

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