New Delhi The launch window for India’s third lunar mission, Chandrayan-3, opens on July 12, the Indian Space Research Organisation chief S Somnath said on Saturday.
Speaking to HT, Somnath said, “We have a small launch window for Chandrayaan-3, which opens from July 12. We will, however, be announcing a final date for the launch soon.”
HT on May 22 reported that the launch of the much-awaited mission is likely to happen on July 12 and the lunar touchdown is expected on August 23.
Chandrayaan-3, which consists of an indigenous lander module, a propulsion module and a rover, is aimed at developing and demonstrating new technologies required for interplanetary missions.
The lander will have the capability to soft land at a specified lunar site and deploy the rover, which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility. The lander and the rover will have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.
The space agency last week started the assembly process for the payloads for the mission in order to ensure that Isro is able to stick to the launch window, senior officials from the department of space said.
The payloads are being assembled at the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bangalore, before it is sent to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, for the launch.
Chandrayaan-3 will be launched by Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) and the propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100km lunar orbit.
India’s Chandrayaan programme is an ongoing series of outer space mission by Isro. The first moon rocket, Chandrayaan-1, was launched in 2008, and was successfully inserted into lunar orbit. Chandrayaan-2 was successfully launched and inserted into lunar orbit in 2019, but its lander “crash-landed” on the moon’s surface when it deviated from its trajectory while attempting to land on September 6, 2019, due to a software glitch..