If the Chandrayaan-3 mission lifts off on July 13 as planned, the lander would be ready to soft-land on the lunar surface on August 23, according to S. Somanath, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said.
Talking to reporters here on Friday, Mr. Somanath said the space agency has incorporated major improvements in the lander for the upcoming mission.
In 2019, the Vikram lander on Chandrayaan-2 had crashed on the lunar surface while attempting to land.
Changes from the Chandrayaan-2 lander design include stronger ‘legs’ for the lander, ability to withstand a higher descending velocity and reduction in the number of engines from five to four. ‘‘We have also increased the quantity of the propellant, and solar panels cover a larger area. New sensors also have been added,’‘ he said.
‘‘But more importantly, we have conducted hundreds of tests over the past two years,’‘ he said, adding in a lighter vein that the 13th is a ‘‘lucky day.’‘
Once the lander lands on the lunar surface, it will deploy the rover.
The assembly of LVM3 launch vehicle which will be used for the mission is progressing at Sriharikota. The scientific payloads aboard the lander (four payloads) and rover (two payloads) are designed to study the geophysical characteristics of the moon, he said.
The Chandrayaan-3 mission will be followed by the Polar Satellite L:aunch Vehicle C-56 (PSLV C-56) mission on July 23.