New Delhi: India’s date with its third mission to the moon, named Chandrayaan-3, may be launched in the third quarter of 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the fabrication of the spacecraft, informed Union minister of state for department of space Dr Jitendra Singh.
“Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched during the third quarter of 2022 assuming normal work-flow henceforth,” the minister stated in a written reply in Parliament on Wednesday.
Chandrayaan-3 was announced a few months after the Vikram lander, aboard Chandrayaan-2, crash-landed on lunar surface barely 2 km from its goal in September 2019. Had the mission been successful, India would have become only the world’s fourth country – after the USA, erstwhile USSR and China – to do so.
To show the world that India is capable of achieving soft landing on a celestial body that will communicate with Earth, Chandrayaan-3 has been planned as a lander-rover mission. The existing orbiter from Chandrayaan-2 will be used.
“The realisation of Chandrayaan-3 involves various processes, including finalisation of configuration, subsystem realisation (manufacturing), integration, spacecraft-level detailed testing and a number of special tests to evaluate the systems performance on Earth. The realisation process was hampered due to Covid-19 pandemic,” the minister said.