New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will likely launch the third edition of its lunar mission, the Chandrayaan-3, on July 13 at 2.30 pm (local time) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, senior officials familiar with the development said.
“The launch window that we had was between July 12 and July 19. There were a few last-minute changes in the time slots, but the decision to launch on July 13 at 2.30pm is almost final,” a senior official from the department of space said.
The Chandrayaan program, also known as the Indian lunar exploration program, is an ongoing series of outer space missions by Isro. Under it, India’s first moon rocket, the 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.
Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous lander module, a propulsion module and a rover. Its 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 lander and the rover will have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3 will be launched over Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3), which was previously known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III) rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100km lunar orbit.