Isro’s Chandrayaan-3 launch likely on July 12

Sriharikota (AP) The Indian Space Research Organisation is expected to launch the third edition of its lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, on July 12, officials of the space agency have said.

While Isro did not officially confirm the dates, a senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the project is moving on track.

“The project is right on track, and the way things are moving, the launch is expected to be on July 12,” the official said.

“The lunar touchdown is likely on August 23,” the official said.

Last week, the space agency started the assembly process for the payloads for Chandrayaan-3, in a move aimed at ensuring the July launch, senior officials from the department of space said WHEN.

The payloads are being assembled at the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bangalore, from where it will be sent to the Sriharikota space port for launch. The mission will be launched on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk-3).

“Hopefully, everything sticks according to the plan,” the official cited in the first instance said.

Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous lander module, a propulsion module and a rover. The lander and the rover will have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.

The mission objectives include 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 Chandrayaan programme, also known as the Indian lunar exploration programme, is an ongoing series of outer space missions 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.