Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somnath on Friday said that Chandrayaan-3 will be sent to the Moon in July this year as the launch window will open on June 12. He explained that Chandrayaan-3 is similar to Chandrayaan-2 as it has the same scientific architecture and mission objective. Somnath said that the launch details will be announced soon.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota to the part of the Moon. The ISRO chief was speaking with Raj Chengappa, India Today Group Editorial Directorial- Publishing, at the India Today South Conclave 2023.
He also talked about the failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission at length during this event.
Somnath said: “We had a failure of the mission but the orbiter is there doing measurements and giving us data. We took a lot of pain to understand what went wrong and understood what the problem was. It was an error in the software, but it will not always be triggered”.
Chandrayaan-2 mission was launched in 2018 and was a unique combination of three separate systems—an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. While the orbiter worked fine, the lander and rover unit of the mission was lost as it crash-landed on the far side of the Moon.
Going further, he confirmed that the Aditya L-1 mission, designed to study solar coronal, will be launched in August this year. The Aditya L-1 mission spacecraft will be launched to Lagrange Point 1 to continuously look at the Sun.
Somnath also elaborated on ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission and said 4 pilots have joined as astronaut trainees. He added that the trainees are undergoing coursework and simulations at present. The ISRO chairman said: “We are designing and developing the module in which they will sit”.
He also said that ISRO needs to have at least 4 missions to ensure the crew escape system works. Somnath further noted that the agency needs to undertake unmanned missions to prove the end-to-end capability of the mission and has to be repeated at least two times.