The Indian Space Research Organization has already begun work on the lander.
India intends to send a third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, which will include only a lander, to the Moon in 2020. This was reported by The Times of India on Tuesday, December 31, citing State Minister Jitendra Singh, who oversees the Indian government’s space industry. It’s going to be pretty economical. The orbiter is already there (in the orbit of the moon) and is functioning, so we will reduce costs. Only the landing mission will be delivered,” he said.
Singh confirmed that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had already begun work on the second lander after the first Indian lunar descent was lost last September during a hard landing on the Earth’s satellite Vikram.
“We should not characterize the Chandrayaan-2 mission as a failure, because in the entire history of space technology there has not been a single country that could achieve a soft landing on the moon in less than two attempts. The U.S. could only achieve this after six or seven attempts. We don’t have to wait that long, we rely on the experience of others,” the minister said.
The Vikram lander, part of the Chandrayaan-2 automatic lunar expedition, was supposed to land gently on Earth’s satellite on September 6, but at an altitude of about 2 km above the Moon, the spacecraft lost contact with the flight control center and then hit the lunar surface and crashed.
Vikram was to deliver to the moon a small lunar rover Pragyan, which was to explore the area of the South Pole of the Earth satellite. The Chandrayaan-2 orbital station, meanwhile, continues to operate in the orbit of the Moon.