Nation’s giant leap for womankind
The country is planning to send its first manned mission to space in December 2021, which will include at least one woman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan said on Friday. The manned mission would . be preceded by two unmanned missions.
“We are planning to have the first unmanned mission in December 2020 and second for July 2021. Once we complete this, the manned mission will happen in December 2021. The entire team is geared up to achieve this target,” Sivan said.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi said before August 15, 2022, Gaganyaan should happen, but we are saying December 2021,” Sivan said, adding that 32 space missions would be launched in 2020, of which 14 would be launch vehicle missions.
Bengaluru: Declaring that India’s second Moon mission is planned for mid-April this year, ISRO on Friday said it was also gearing up for its maiden human spaceflight programme ‘Gaganyaan’ by 2021-end that may include at least a woman astronaut.
The space agency had earlier said Chandrayaan-2 will be launched in a window from January-February 16, 2019.
“Right now Chandrayaan is scheduled from March 25 to April end. Most probably, the normal targeted date is April middle,” ISRO Chairman K Sivan said.
The space agency had earlier planned to launch the spacecraft sometime between January and February but it could not materialise because certain tests could not be conducted, Sivan told reporters as he laid out ISRO’s programmes.
“If we miss April, it will go to June,” he said in response to a question about the next launch window available, adding that “but, we will be targeting April”.
Chandrayaan-2 mission, costing nearly Rs 800 crore, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission about 10 years ago. It is a totally indigenous venture and comprises an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
After a controlled descent, the lander will soft-land on the lunar surface at a specified
site and deploy a rover, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The six-wheeled rover will move around the landing site on the lunar surface in a semi-autonomous mode as decided by the ground commands.
The instruments on the rover will observe the lunar surface and send back data, which will be useful for analysis of the lunar soil.
The 3,290-kg Chandrayaan-2 will orbit the Moon and perform the objectives of remote sensing it.
The payloads will collect scientific information on lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice, the space agency said.
It might take 35 to 45 days to reach the Moon after the launch, as ISRO plans sixstage orbit raising manoeuvres, Sivan said.
Noting that India is nowhere behind China, Sivan said Beijing has landed on the far side of the Moon and “we are going to land at a place where nobody else has gone- the Moon’s south pole.” “All the landing happened near equator region, in the visible region; nobody has gone to South Pole. We are going there, and scientists feel that the science we are going to get from there is large.
Chairman K Sivan shares the plan to send astronauts on ISRO’s vehicle