On the sidelines of an IAF event, the Isro chairman said, “It is a statement of intent that when the US is proposing collaborative work in the space sector, especially the exploration of outer planets in a very cordial atmosphere between different nations, we agree with that … We would like to work with the US, especially on technologies which are high-end and space is one of them. It will open opportunities for Indian industries which are working in the space sector to work with the US companies.”
On some unconfirmed reports of July 13 being fixed as the launch date for the Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission, Somanath said, “Currently, the window of opportunity for launch is between July 12 and 19 and we will take the earliest possible date, maybe the 12th, maybe the 13th or maybe the 14th. We will announce the exact date after all the tests are completed.”
On the lunar spacecraft, the Isro chairman said, “Currently the Chandrayaan 3 spacecraft is fully integrated … and we have completed the testing”.
Another Isro official told
that no exact date has been finalised till now for the Chandrayaan-3 launch as “such a crucial mission requires a lot of approvals at various levels and so many checks are also required”. Chandrayaan-3 will be a lander rover-specific mission and the focus of the lunar mission will be to land on the lunar surface, which, if Isro is successful this time, will put India in the club of elite nations that had already landed on Moon.
On the Aditya L1 solar mission, the Isro chairman said, “We are targeting that by August-end, Aditya can go.” The spacecraft will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1), which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. A satellite placed in the halo orbit has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any eclipses. This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time.