ISRO to launch Gaganyaan,Chandrayaan-3 missions in 2020: K.Sivan

Pramesh S Jain

“ISRO chief K Sivan declared 2020 as the year of Gaganyaan,India’s maiden human spaceflight mission,and Chandrayaan-3, another attempt to land a rover on the south pole of the moon.”

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chief K.Sivan said on Wednesday that the government has approved the Chandrayaan-3 project,work has started on it and it is likely to be launched in 2021.He said that four people have been selected for the Gaganyaan mission.The training of all the astronauts will begin in the third week of this month in Russia .  Simultaneously, the Gaganyaan Advisory Committee has been formed.

Sivan also officially announced the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission which is again set to tackle the tricky south pole of the moon. Set to cost around Rs 600 crore, Sivan said the sequel to the moon mission may take 14-16 months and will use a lander and rover configuration while relying on Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had said that Russia will train the Indian astronauts for Gaganyaan mission.Scheduled for 2022,the mission is expected to carry three astronauts,who will be picked from among the test pilots in the Indian armed forces. The chosen three astronauts will be sent to space for seven days onboard Gaganyaan, a crew capsule,to be launched with the help of Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

If Gaganyaan is successful, India would become the fourth nation to achieve the feat.K Sivan further said that this year is going to be an eventful year for ISRO.

“Just like last year, this year is also going to be an eventful year for ISRO.This year is going to the year of Chandrayan-3 and Gaganyaan.We have planned another satellite for this year i.e.GSAT 20.Many targets have been planned for 2020.For Gaganyan many systems need to be tested before flight.Crew training is another major activity that is going to happen this year,” said Sivan.

The ISRO chief said,”We had tried better during the Chandrayaan-2 mission,but could not land it on the lunar surface. However,its orbiter is working better.This orbiter will provide data for up to seven years.”He said that the land acquisition work for the construction of the second space port is in the initial stage,which will be built at Tutukudi in Tamil Nadu.

K Sivan said,plans to launch more than 25 missions this year:

K Sivan mentioned the success of ISRO of 2019.He said,“Our main strategy in 2019 was to expand ISRO.We wanted ISRO to have horizontal expansion.The second strategy was to expand our capacity.At the same time,the third strategy was to cut down the physical functions in ISRO.2020 will be very important for ISRO.He said that we plan to launch more than 25 missions this year.”

Union Minister had said- India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020:

Union Minister,Jitendra Singh had said in a written reply to the Winter Session of Parliament that India would launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020 and it would cost less than Chandrayaan-2.He had said that it would be wrong to call Chandrayaan-2 unsuccessful.This gave us a lot to learn.  This was India’s first attempt to land on the lunar surface.No country in the world has done so in the first attempt.

Pilot will spend seven days in space:

In May last year,the Air Force entered into an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organization to provide crew selection and training for the Gaganyaan mission.Under this, a team of four-member scientists is to be sent from Gaganyaan in 2022, which will spend at least seven days in space.The vehicle will be sent into space with GSLV Mach-3.These selected test pilots will be sent to Russia for training.  For this, ISRO signed an agreement with Russia’s space agency Glavkosmos on 2 July this year.

10 thousand crores will be spent on Gaganyaan:

The Gaganyaan mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day from Red Fort last year.  About 10 thousand crore rupees will be spent on the mission.It will probably be launched in 2022.For this, it was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2018.

While ISRO had said it had found Vikram’s debris on September 8 itself,it did not release any image in support.It was only recently a Chennai-based 33-year old mechanical engineer,Shanmuga Subramanian,spotted the Vikram debris on the pictures released by US space agency NASA.

Congratulating Subramanian,Sivan said, “We must appreciate the effort he put in.”

Asked why ISRO did not release visuals of the crash site earlier,Sivan attributed it to “strategy”.“ISRO is very, very transparent. We announced this as soon as we located it.”Sivan also denied speculation of pressure from the government after Chandrayaan-2’s failed landing,adding that ISRO is trying to improve its own tech for landing.

Commenting on the famous image of being consoled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the morning after Chandrayaan-2 lander crashed, Sivan said,“Nothing transpired.It was an emotional moment; two persons emotionally moved.It consoled us.There was no discussion or anything Sivan said.