Chennai: Indian space agency ISRO is gearing up for its third moon mission — Chandrayaan-3 — slated between July 12 and July 19, officials said.
“We have the launch window between July 12 and July 19. The exact date has not been finalised,” a senior official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), not wanting to be named, told IANS.
Speaking to the media, ISRO Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space, S. Somanath, said the space agency will look at launching the moon mission at the earliest date, which could be July 12 or July 13.
He said the launch window is there between July 12 and July 19.
According to Somanath, the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has been tested and encapsulated inside the rocket’s payload fairing/heat shield and the rocket — LVM3 — is getting ready at the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh.
The main purpose of Chandrayaan-3 is to safely land the lander on the moon soil. Following that a rover will roll out to do the experiments.
As regards the changes made in the lander this time as compared to the one that crash landed on the moon during the Chandrayaan-2 mission, the official said the lander will have four motors instead of five. The space agency has also carried out some changes in the software.
As regards the naming of the lander and rover, the official told IANS that it has not been decided yet.
ISRO might even retain the names of the earlier lander — Vikram and Pragyan.