Chandrayaan-3 likely to be launched during third quarter of 2022: Jitendra Singh

Amid COVID-19 led disruptions, ISRO's third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 has been further delayed till next year

Chandrayaan-3, India's lunar mission, is likely to be launched during the third quarter of 2022, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday, stressing that its progress was hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Singh, Minister of State in-charge of the Department of Space, said the launch of Chandrayaan-3 has been rescheduled.

Representational Image

"Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched during third quarter of 2022 assuming normal work flow henceforth," he said.

Singh added that the realisation of Chandrayaan-3 involves various processes, including finalisation of configuration, subsystems realisation, integration, spacecraft level detailed testing and a number of special tests to evaluate the system performance on earth.

"The realisation progress was hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

However, all works that were possible in the work from home mode were taken up even during the lockdown periods. Chandrayaan-3 realisation resumed after commencement of unlock period, and is in matured stage of realisation, he said.

Chandrayaan-2, aimed at landing a rover on unchartered Lunar South Pole, was launched on July 22, 2019 on board the country's most powerful geosynchronous launch vehicle.

However, the lander Vikram hard-landed on September 7, 2019, crashing India's dream to become the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.

Chandrayaan-3 is critical for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), as it will demonstrate India's capabilities to make landing for further interplanetary missions.

Apart from Chandrayaan-3, reports also revealed that the first uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan, which was scheduled to launch this December, has also been delayed till next year due to COVID-19 led disruptions.

Earlier in February this year, Jitendra Singh had revealed that Gaganyaan's first unmanned mission was planned for December 2021 while the second unmanned flight was planned for 2022-23, followed by the human space flight demonstration.

However, reports now reveal that the first uncrewed mission has been further delayed due to pandemic-led disruption in the delivery of hardware elements.

[Additional inputs have been added for context]

Edited by Anju Narayanan


Updates from around the world