India’s ambitious third mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-3, may get launched in the third quarter next year. The mission has been facing delays due to the pandemic.
In a written answer in the Parliament, Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state for department of space, said, “Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched during the third quarter of 2022 assuming normal work-flow henceforth.”
Initially scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021, the mission was hit badly by the pandemic as it affected the schedule due to the manufacturing the modules.
The answer given by minister in Lok Sabha read, “The realisation of Chandrayaan-3 involves various processes, including finalisation of configuration, subsystem realisation (manufacturing), integration, spacecraft-level detailed testing and a number of special tests to evaluate the systems performance on Earth. The realisation process was hampered due to COVID-19 pandemic.”
Planned as only a lander-rover mission, the Chandrayaan-3 aimed to demonstrate the country’s capability of soft landing on a celestial body. It will be communicated with Earth via the existing orbiter from Chandrayaan-2. The orbiter’s lifespan has been estimated to be seven years.
It was announced a few months after the Vikram lander aboard Chandrayaan-2 mission crash-landed on the lunar surface in September 2019.
(With inputs from agencies)