The Indian Space and Research Organisation (Isro) is likely preparing its next moon mission to land a rover on the far side of the moon in early 2021. Unlike Chandrayaan 2, Chandaryaan 3 won’t have an orbiter and only a lander and a rover like one that failed to make a swift landing on the moon last year.
Chandrayaan 3 was to be launched later this year but was delayed due to the pandemic.
“As for Chandrayaan-3, the launch may now take place somewhere in early 2021. Chandrayaan-3 will be a mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 and will include a Lander and Rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2, but will not have an orbiter,” a statement quoting Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
The plan would be to land on the South Pole of the moon where Chandrayaan 2 crashed landed in 2019 when ISRO lost contact with the same a short distance before it could make the landing. The orbiter of the mission is working fine and has been sending data.
Moon is Rusting
Meanwhile, Mr. Singh, who is the Minister of State for the Department of Space, also said Chandrayaan-1, which was launched in 2008, has sent images that show that the moon may be rusting along the poles.
“The sign of this finding is that even though the surface of the Moon is known to have iron-rich rocks, it is not known for the presence of water and oxygen, which are the two elements needed to interact with iron to create rust,” he said.
NASA addressing the notes said that this could be due to the Earth’s own atmosphere as it may be lending a helping hand which, in other words, means that the Earth’s atmosphere could be protecting the Moon as well.