ISRO’s 2020 target set, to launch 'cost-effective' Chandrayaan 3, Gaganyaan
New Delhi, Jan 01: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has a busy launch schedule this fiscal and has listed out its major to-do list for the year 2020.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan unveiled its mission programme for 2020. Addressing a press conference here, ISRO chairman K Sivan said all activities related to the third lunar mission were going on smoothly. It will also have a lander, rover and a propulsion module like its predecessor, he said. On the cost of the project, Sivan said, "the mission would cost Rs 250 crore." The launch of Chandrayaan 3 may shift to next year, he said.
"The government has approved Chandrayan-3, the project is ongoing. The land acquisition for a second spaceport has been initiated and the port will be in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu," said Sivan.
The space agency had also announced that India's maiden human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan will go full steam by year end.
Speaking on the same, Sivan said that 4 astronauts have been selected and that they would be trained from the third week of January. The mission would also have lander and rover.
''We have made good progress for Gaganyaan in 2019,'' he said.
ISRO Chairman further added that a second vehicle building has also been inaugurated to increase the number of launches and stated that ISRO is expanding its horizon of activity.
"We brought the high school children to ISRO to train them for two weeks on space, Science and technology. Another major activity we initiated is that we want the PSLV to be produced by the industry," said Sivan.
Recalling the achievements of ISRO in the year that passed and outlined the focus areas of 2019, Sivan said,'' We had made good progress on Chadrayaan-2. Even though we couldn't make the soft landing successfully, the orbiter is still functioning and will continue to produce data for the next 7 years.''
The announcement comes a day after Union Minister Jitendra Singh had said India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020.
He added that the experience gathered from Chandrayaan-2 and available infrastructure will bring down the cost of Chandrayaan-3. He, however, declined to specify the month of the third lunar mission launch.
Chandrayaan-2 mission was India's first attempt to land on lunar surface.
The ISRO had planned the landing on the South Pole of the lunar surface. However, the lander Vikram hard-landed.
In a written response to a question in the Winter session of Parliament, Singh said, "The velocity was reduced from 1683 m/s to 146 m/s. During the second phase of the descent, the reduction in velocity was more than the designed value.
Due to this deviation, the initial conditions at the start of the fine braking phase were beyond the designed parameters. As a result, Vikram hard landed within 500 m of the designated landing site."
ISRO has also planned 13 missions during this fiscal -- six launch vehicle missions and seven satellite missions before March 2020. The Indian space agency will soon be launching radar imaging satellites RISAT-2BR1, RISAT-2BR2.