India’s last mission to the moon wasn’t exactly the success that the brilliant team back at ISRO expected. However, the organization has revealed that another attempt to reach the moon in the form of Chandrayaan 3 is in the works. Further, the new mission will cost Rs 6.51 billion. This would make Chandrayaan 3 less expensive than the Chandrayaan 2 mission. The latter, was already the least expensive moon mission in history. Also Read - NASA satellite finds Chandrayaan-2 Moon Lander's debris: All you need to know
ISRO will also be busy preparing for Gangayaan, the organization’s first human spaceflight. “This is going to be the year of Chandrayaan 3 and Gaganyaan, I would say,” said K. Sivan, ISRO chairman during the New Year’s Day press briefing. Also Read - ISRO prepares to launch Chandrayaan-3 mission by November 2020: Report
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Sivan also disclosed that ISRO will set up a second spaceport in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu after successfully acquired land. The new site will be the site from where the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). Also Read - ISRO not facing funds crunch: Chairman K.Sivan
Chandrayaan 3 official confirmation
The rumors of a second lunar mission by ISRO have been up in the air for a while now. Ever since Chandrayaan 2 lander Vikram crashed into the lunar surface on September 7 2019, ISRO was expected to make a comeback. The recent revelations by Sivan only serve as the official confirmation for the same. “One major announcement I wanted to make here, officially,is that Chandrayaan 3 is government approved. The project is now formed. The activities for Chandrayaan 3 are going very smoothly, said the chairman.
Least expensive lunar mission in history
The Chandrayaan 3 will cost lesser than the Chandrayaan 2 which was already the cheapest lunar mission in history. This is possible because of successful achievements made by the Chandrayaan 2 mission. The mission’s orbiter is still circling the lunar surface at 100 kilometers altitude. Further, it has a lifespan of up to seven years. Hence, the new mission will only be sending a rover and a lander to the moon.
The feat also reduces the cost of the project to Rs 6.15 billion instead of the Chandrayaan 2’s Rs 10 billion. What remains unchanged is the rocket used to send the lander. ISRO will use the same GSLV to launch the new rover and lander.
The mission still has no final launch date and it is unlikely that it will take place in 2020. Sivan predicts another 14 to 16 months to complete the spacecraft. Hence, we can perhaps expect a launch in the year 2021.