Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is preparing for its next moon mission. Called Chandrayaan-3, the mission is expected to launch sometime by the end of 2020. After a heartbreak from Chandrayaan-2, where the Vikram lander could not establish contact after landing on the moon’s surface, the space agency is ready for its next mission. ISRO is reportedly looking at November 2020 as the launch timeline for its next mission to the moon. The details about the next mission to the moon remain scarce at this moment.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission is rumored to be a project in collaboration with JAXA, the Japanese space agency. The collaboration is aimed to send a lunar rover to the south pole of the moon. In a press statement, JAXA announced that the Chandrayaan-3 moon project could also see participation from NASA. The launch year for the project was 2023 as per documents released by JAXA. The Japanese space agency is helping NASA with development of the rocket and rover while ISRO is developing the lander.
The payload capacity of the mission is expected to be nearly 500kg and the total mass at launch will be 6 tons or more. The JAXA report shows that the objective of the mission is to collect samples, find prospects for water or ice on the lunar surface and analyze the nearby region. ISRO should give more details about the mission early next year. India has so far successfully conducted one mission in the form of Chandrayaan-1. It was launched on October 22, 2008 and it discovered water on the moon.
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Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019 and the lander was scheduled to touchdown on the south polar region. On September 7, ISRO lost contact with the Vikram lander while it attempted landing on the moon. The Indian space agency says the lander is intact and will be collecting data for the next 7.5 years. The mission recently sent 3D view of a crater imaged by TMC-2 of Chandrayaan-2.