Chandrayaan-3 launch may happen next year, says ISRO chief K Sivan

The space agency is also in talks with NASA and other space agencies and industries on how it can collaborate on human space flight and learn from their experience.

The ISRO on Wednesday (December 1) announced that work on the country’s third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 was on and the launch may shift to next year.

The announcement comes a day after Union Minister Jitendra Singh said India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020.

Addressing a press conference here, ISRO chairman K Sivan said all activities related to the third lunar mission were going on smoothly.

It will also have a lander, rover and a propulsion module like its predecessor, he said.

On the cost of the project, Sivan said, “the mission would cost ₹250 crore.” The launch of Chandrayaan 3 may shift to next year, he added.

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The ISRO Chief also said the training of astronauts for the ambitious manned mission Gaganyaan will commence from the third week of January in Russia.

Four astronauts have been identified for the mission, K Sivan added.

The work related to Chandrayaan-3 and Gaganyaan was going on simultaneously, he said.

The ISRO chief also congratulated the Chennai-based techie who recently located the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 that hard-landed and maintained that it was the space agency’s policy not to release picture of the crashed module.

“We know where it crashed and where it is located,” Sivan said.

To a question on what went wrong with Vikram lander, he said it was due to velocity reduction failure. “The velocity reduction failure was due to internal reasons,” he said.

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Chandrayaan-2 mission was India’s first attempt to land on the lunar surface. The ISRO had planned the landing on the South Pole of the lunar surface.

However, the lander Vikram hard-landed.

(With input from agencies.)

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