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'Chandrayaan-3 likely to be launched during third quarter of 2022'

NEW DELHI (PTI): Chandrayaan-3, India's lunar mission, is likely to be launched during the quarter of 2022, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday, stressing that its progress was hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Singh, Minister of State in-charge of the Department of Space, said the launch of Chandrayaan-3 has been rescheduled.

"Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched during third quarter of 2022 assuming normal work flow henceforth," he said.

Singh added that the realisation of Chandrayaan-3 involves various process, including finalisation of configuration, subsystems realisation, integration, spacecraft level detailed testing and a number of special tests to evaluate the system performance on earth.

"The realisation progress was hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

However, all works that were possible in the work-from-home mode were taken up even during the lockdown periods. Chandrayaan-3 realisation resumed after commencement of unlock period and is in matured stage of realisation, he said.

Chandrayaan-2, aimed at landing a rover on unchartered Lunar South Pole, was launched on July 22, 2019 on board the country's most powerful geosynchronous launch vehicle.

However, the lander ‘Vikram’ hard-landed on September 7, 2019, crashing India's dream to become the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.

Chandrayaan-3 is critical for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as it will demonstrate India's capabilities to make lunar landing for further interplanetary missions.

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