India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday, asserting that the mission cost will be less than Chandrayaan-2. Singh, who is the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, said it is wrong to term Chandrayaan-2 as a disappointment since it was India's maiden attempt to land on the lunar surface and no country could do so in its first attempt.
"Yes, the lander and rover mission will mostly likely 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," Singh said.
He added that the experience gathered from Chandrayaan-2 and available infrastructure will bring down the cost of Chandrayaan-3.
He, however, declined to specify the month of the third lunar mission launch.
Chandrayaan-2 mission was India's first attempt to land on lunar surface. The ISRO had planned the landing on the South Pole of the lunar surface. However, the lander Vikram hard-landed.
In a written response to a question in the Winter session of Parliament, Singh said, "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."