Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Sivan plans on sending a new spacecraft on the Moon. The Chandrayaan-3 mission is slated to launch in 2020; however, it may be delayed till’ 2021. According to him, the work on the new spacecraft is going “smoothly,” taking into consideration its predecessor that crash-landed on the Moon a few months ago.
If the Chandrayaan-3 mission is proved to be a success, it will make India the fourth country to put a mission on the Moon’s surface. Russia, the US, and China are the only countries that have achieved that so far, however, at a higher budget compared to India.
Chandrayaan-3 mission goals
Mr. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), is expecting Chandrayaan-3 to have a “similar configuration” to the previous mission. Therefore the new spacecraft scope is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface.
Scientific goals include orbital studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.
Chandrayaan-2 was the most sophisticated space mission ever attempted by India. The spacecraft mission was to land on the south pole of the Moon, in a spot that no other spaceship had landed before and carried the scientific task. However, the mission failed in September, when the module crash-landed.
Low-cost space mission
Mr. Sivan said the Chandrayaan-3 landing spot would be the same as its predecessor. he new equipment is set to cost some $35m.
The new space mission will be “quite economical,” according to Jitendra Singh, the junior minister for the department of space. “The orbiter is already there. So we are going to be cutting costs.” This new mission is just a part of India’s space goals of becoming a low-cost space power.