Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is planning to launch its third lunar mission - Chandrayaan-3 - probably in November next year, minister of state for development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, personnel, public grievances and pensions, atomic energy and space, Jitendra Singh informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Thursday.
Isro, he said, has drawn up a roadmap for lunar exploration missions to master the technologies required. This roadmap has been presented to the space commission. Based on the final analysis and recommendations of the expert committee, work on future lunar missions is progressing, he added.
The expert committee has analyzed the flight data and extensive simulations were carried out to re-construct the flight behavior. The recommendations of the expert committee will be implemented in future lunar missions.
Singh said all the scientific instruments of the orbiter were performing according to the design and providing valuable scientific data.
Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander hard landed as reduction in velocity during its descent did not match with the designed parameters, he said, throwing more light on Isro’s dashed hopes of making a soft landing on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.
Singh said the first phase of descent was performed nominally from an altitude of 30 km to 7.4 km above the moon’s surface and the velocity was reduced from 1,683 metres per second to 146 metres per second.
“During the second phase of descent, the reduction in velocity was more than the designed value. Due to this deviation, the initial conditions at the start of the fine-braking phase were beyond the designed parameters. As a result, Vikram hard landed within 500 metres of the designated landing site,” he said.
Singh said most components of technology demonstration, including the launch, orbital critical manoeuvres, lander separation, de-boost and rough braking phase were successfully accomplished.
He also stated that all the eight state-of-the-art scientific instruments of the orbiter were performing according to the design and providing valuable scientific data. Due to the precise launch and orbital manoeuvres, the mission life of the orbiter was increased to seven years, he said.
Data received from the orbiter was being provided continuously to the scientific community, he said, adding the same was recently reviewed in an all-India user meet organised in New Delhi.
The Isro is planning to launch Chandrayaan-3 probably in November next year.
Singh also said Isro has incorporated a new company called New Space India Limited (NSIL) as a wholly owned Government of India undertaking, under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS), to commercially exploit the research and development work of Isro.
NSIL has been mandated to sub-license small satellite technology transfer to industry wherein NSIL will obtain license from DOS/ISRO and sub-license it to industries. It will also undertake manufacture of small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in collaboration with private sector, besides marketing of space-based services, including launch and application as well as transfer of technology developed by Isro centres and constituent institutions of DOS and spin-off technologies and products, both in India and abroad.
With the activity plan and the mandate set for NSIL, Indian industries are likely to see a major spur in their growth in the space sector. This initiative would further enable scaling up the manufacturing and production base in Indian industries towards meeting the growing needs of Indian space programme and exploiting the opportunities available in the global space market, the minister stated.