India will launch its third mission to the moon in the year 2020, confirmed minister of state for department of space Jitendra Singh on Tuesday. With just a lander and rover, Chandrayaan-3 will attempt a soft landing on the moon again, said the Union minister
"Yes, the lander and rover mission will happen in 2020. However, as I have said before, the Chandrayaan-2 mission cannot be called a failure as we have learnt a lot from it. There is no country in the world that has landed on its first attempt; the US took several attempts. But we will not need so many attempts," said Jitendra Singh.
Chandrayaan-2 mission was India's first attempt to land on a celestial body. The country's second mission to moon went awry in the last 2.1km of its journey when its lander Vikram hard landed just 500 metres from the chosen landing site on September 7.
The hard landing was confirmed officially by Jitendra Singh in the Parliament.
A successful landing would have made India the fourth country in the world to do so after the US, the erstwhile USSR and China and the first country to have landed so close to the lunar South Pole.
The velocity of the lander reduced more than what was anticipated leading to the crash, according to the answers presented in the Parliament.
"The velocity was reduced from 1683 m/s to 146 m/s. During the second phase of the 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 m of the designated landing site," the reply said.
An image of the landing site captured by Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showed 21 pieces of confirmed or likely spacecraft debris scattered over several kilometres, which showed that the spacecraft disintegrated on impact, according to experts. The debris were located with the help of a tipoff from an Indian engineer and the findings were made public earlier this month.