Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan on Wednesday announced that India’s third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 is on and has been approved by the government. Addressing the media, the ISRO chief said, the land acquisition for a second space port has been initiated and the port will be in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. "We have made good progress on Chandrayan-2, even though we could not land successfully, the orbiter is still functioning, its going to function for the next 7 years to produce science data," he said.
The ISRO chief's announcement comes a day after Union Minister Jitendra Singh said India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020.
ISRO chief K Sivan: We have made good progress on Chandrayan-2, even though we could not land successfully, the orbiter is still functioning, its going to function for the next 7 years to produce science data pic.twitter.com/6tw683HTnk— ANI (@ANI) January 1, 2020
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." On the cost of the project, Sivan said, "the mission would cost Rs 250 crore." The launch of Chandrayaan 3 may shift to next year, he added.
The Indian space agency also said that preparations for the Gaganyaan mission are going on simultaneously with the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
"The astronauts have been identified for India's upcoming Gaganyaan mission. The training for four astronauts (all male) has been planned in third week of January from Russia," he said.
Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft that is intended to send 3 astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days by 2022, as part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
Launched in July 2019, the Chandrayaan 2 had successfully completed earth and moon orbits and was all set to execute a controlled landing on the lunar south pole, a previously unexplored region, when the lander lost contact.
Of the 38 soft-landing attempts made on the moon, only about half have succeeded. India had hoped its Chandrayaan 2 mission would make it the fourth nation to land on the moon after the United States, Russia and China.
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