Chandrayaan-3 to be launched in 2021 sans orbiter, images suggest Moon rusting along posts. Chandrayaan-3 is probably going to be launched in mid 2021 instead of the second half of 2020 as suggested by the government. Union Minister Jitendra Singh made the announcement on Sunday while adding that India’s mission to Moon will include a rover and a lander but not an orbiter like its predecessor.
Following the hard landing of Chandrayaan-2 in September of last year, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had mentioned its arrangements of launching another mission to the moon by the end of 2020. Notwithstanding, the novel coronavirus pandemic has led to a delay in the launch of Chandrayaan-3.
Aimed at the Moon’s South Pole, Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019. The Vikram hard-landed on the lunar surface on September 7. Officials have confirmed that despite the setback, the orbiter is in working condition and can transmit data back to earth.
Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (MoS) for Department of Space said Chandrayaan-1 which was ISRO’s maiden mission to the Moon has transmitted images suggesting Moon may be rusting along the shafts.
“The indication of this finding is that despite the fact that the surface of the Moon is known to have iron-rich rocks, it isn’t known for the presence of water and oxygen, which are the two elements needed to interact with iron to create rust,” Jitendra Singh said.
This could also be an indication that the Earth’s atmosphere is sheltering the moon too, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said. They further added, “Thus, the Chandrayaan-1 Moon data indicates that the Moon’s shafts are home to water, this is what the scientists are trying to decipher.”
Simultaneously, India is also preparing for its first-since forever Human Space mission Gaganyaan for which training processes and other procedures are currently underway.
Minister Jitendra Singh said, “Constraints because of the COVID pandemic led to some disruptions in the arrangement for Gaganyaan but efforts are going on to stick to the timeline of around 2022.”