Gaganyaan and Chandrayaan 3 missions will be the major focus areas of ISRO in 2020 among many other initiatives it is expected to undertake this year. As per the ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan, the government has approved the Chandrayaan 3 project and the whole project including the launch will cost around Rs 615 crore. The Chandrayaan 3 project, which will again attempt a soft landing on the moon, may take around 16 more months for launch. Meanwhile, Sivan also informed that four astronauts who are four male Indian Air force personnel have been selected for the Gaganyaan mission and will start their training from the third week of January.
“The work for both the missions will continue simultaneously. The work on other projects will not be affected due to these missions and overall we are planning around 25 missions this year. The four astronauts for the Gaganyaan mission were finally selected after undergoing special medical tests in India and Russia. As part of the Gaganyaan, we are planning the unmanned mission this year. Many of the Gaganyaan systems need to be tested such as the crew escape system and the crew training will happen this year in Russia. The Chandrayaan 3 mission is also on track and it will attempt a soft landing on the moon and we would be launching only the lander and the rover with a propulsion module as part of this mission,” explained Sivan.
Sivan also informed that the unmanned space mission as part of the Gaganyaan mission will carry multiple experiments around microgravity and biosciences. He also said that the Gaganyaan mission was sticking to its schedule that was announced earlier.
Regarding the Chandrayaan 3 mission, Sivan said the objective of this mission was not very different from the earlier Chandrayaan 2 mission as it would again attempt for a successful soft landing on the moon. The only difference was that the orbiter will not be relaunched and only the lander and the rover with a propulsion module will be launched. They, in turn, will use the capabilities of the existing orbiter of the Chandrayaan 2 mission as it was functioning successfully and will provide data for the next seven years. The overall scientific objective of Chandrayaan 3 will be similar.
“We learn from our mistakes and we will again try for a successful soft landing on the moon. In Chandrayaan 2 the velocity reduction was more than expected and there was large scale deviation. The analysis of this took some time. All the reports were submitted to the government. The landing was not on expected lines and it did not land the way we wanted though there was no problem with landing site that was chosen for the landing. We know where the crash landing took place but it is not our policy to release the pictures of the crash site. The Chandrayaan 3 mission will take some time and there was no pressure of any sort from the government to hurry up this mission.,” remarked Sivan. He also informed that the land acquisition for around 2300 acres of land for a second spaceport is underway in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.