India may attempt soft landing on Moon next Nov with Chandrayaan-3

Australian National University space rock expert Trevor Ireland, who was in Woomera for the arrival of the capsule, said he expected the Ryugu samples to be similar to the meteorite that fell in Australia near Murchison in Victoria state more than 50 years ago.

After an unsuccessful bid two months ago, India may attempt another soft landing on the Moon by next year-end, probably in November, sources in Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said on Thursday (November 14).

The Isro 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 panel’s report is awaited. The committee has been given a guideline to prepare the mission before the end of next year,” a senior ISRO official said. “There is a good launch window in November.” “Rover, lander and landing operations will get more focus this time and whatever deficiencies in the Chandrayaan-2 mission will be corrected,” sources in the Bengaluru- headquartered space agency said.

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On September 7, Isro attempted a soft landing of Chandrayaan-2’s ‘Vikram’ on the unchartered lunar south pole, before losing communication with the lander. A national level committee consisting of academics and ISRO experts, headed by V Narayanan, Director of the space agency’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, has analysed the cause of communication loss with the lander.

The members of the panel included those from VSSC and U R Rao Satellite Centre. “This committee has pin-pointed as to what went wrong. They have prepared a voluminous report and are believed to have submitted it to the Space Commission,” an ISRO official said. “It’s expected to be put in the public domain after the approval of the PMO,” the official said.

Also read | Interactive graphic: Chandrayaan 2, India’s ambitious mission to moon

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