Chandrayaan-3 launch likely in early 2021
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Minister of State for the Department of Space Jitendra Singh on Sunday said that Chandrayaan-3, India’s mission to Moon, would be launched in early 2021. Singh added that Chandrayaan-3 will be different from Chandrayaan-2 as the former will not have an orbiter, but will include a lander and a rover.
It may be recalled that Chandrayaan-2 was launched in September 2019 and India's premier space agency ISRO had planned to launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020 but the plan failed to materialise due to coronavirus pandemic and the the subsequent lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019 and it was planned to land on the South Pole of the Moon but its lander named Vikram hard-landed on September 7, crashing India’s dream of becoming the first country in the world to land on the surface of the moon in its maiden attempt. The good news, however, is that the orbiter of the mission is working fine and has been sending data.
Meanwhile, Chandrayaan-1, ISRO’s maiden mission to the Moon launched in 2008, has sent images which show that moon may be rusting along the poles. The sign of this finding is that even though the surface of the Moon is known to have iron-rich rocks, it is not known for the presence of water and oxygen, which are the two elements needed to interact with iron to create rust, he said.
Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say that this could be because the Earth's own atmosphere is lending a helping hand which, in other words, means that the Earth's atmosphere could be protecting the Moon as well. Thus, the Chandrayaan-1 Moon data indicates that the Moon's poles are home to water, this is what the scientists are trying to decipher.