ISRO chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan presented this year’s goals and plans to the countrymen on the occasion of the new year. Gaganyaan and Chandrayaan 3 are part of the Indian space agency’s plans for 2020.
The ISRO head said that through space science, the agency’s effort was to improve the lives of the people of the country. Sivan said that the year 2019 kept the agency busy in the preparations for the two important projects.
The ISRO chief said, “A cost-effective Chandrayaan 3 will be launched in 2020. Gaganyaan astronauts will be trained from the third week of January 2020 onwards. Four astronauts have been identified for the mission of Gaganyaan. A national-level consultation committee has been formed for this. In 2019, we have made a lot of progress in the Gaganyaan project.”
The ISRO chief said that the Chandrayaan 3 project would be launched this year. Sivan said, “The Chandrayaan 3 mission has received government approval. Chandrayaan 3 will be very similar to Chandrayaan 2. Work on the project has started. Its configuration will be similar to Chandrayaan 2. There will be a lander and a rover in the third version of India’s moon craft too.” He added that Chandrayaan 3 will not have an orbiter.
ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 had attracted worldwide attention during the project. The crash-landing of its lander Vikram had disappointed the international community. NASA tried to locate the debris after its signal to the earth stations was lost. Chandrayaan 3 will try to accomplish what Chandrayaan 2 couldn’t: reach near the south pole of earth’s satellite moon that is still unexplored and send data back to the ground stations of ISRO, letting mankind know what materials are available on the crust of the moon.
Describing the second spaceport of the country, Sivan said that ISRO had acquired land for the purpose. The second spaceport will be at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
The coming decade is lined up with many ambitious projects of ISRO like its mission to Mars and Saturn. Preparations for these projects are afoot. Russia is supporting ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission.