Chandrayaan 3 launch: Despite facing troubles with Chandrayaan 2, scientists at ISRO are reportedly all ready to make another push for soft landing a rover on the moon. 

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Chandrayaan 3 moon mission could be executed by November 2020
  • The work on the mission is reportedly already in the advanced stages

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 ISRO said today.

“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 told. “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.

chandrayaan-3

Isro has formed multiple committees — an overall panel and three sub-committees — and held at least four high-level meetings since October. The new mission will include only a lander and rover, as the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is functioning well. On Tuesday, the overview committee met with the agenda of reviewing the configuration of Chandrayaan-3. It also looked into the recommendations of various sub-committees on propulsion, sensors, overall engineering, navigation and guidance.

Work is in full flow, said by a isro scientist. So far Isro has looked at 10 specific aspects of the mission, including landing site selection, absolute navigation and local navigation. Sources said an office order issued on October 5 as having instructed: “It is essential to carry out detailed analysis on the changes for improving the lander system considering the recommendations of both the expert committee (formed to look into Chandrayaan-2) and the recommendations which could not be implemented due to advanced stage of Chandrayaan-2 flight preparation.”

Another scientist said among the top priority for the new mission is “strengthening the legs of the lander”, so that it allows landing even with a high velocity. Sources said that Isro will be building a new lander and a rover. No final decision has been taken on the number of payloads on the lander.

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 pinpointed 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.