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Chandrayaan-3 launch likely on July 13; ISRO Chief says no final decision yet


NEW DELHI (PTI): India is looking at July 13 as a possible launch date for Chandrayaan-3 that entails landing a rover on the lunar surface.

A senior official said the Chandrayaan-3 mission would be launched on July 13 at 2:30 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

However, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath said while the date has not been finalised yet, the agency was looking at the earliest possible date between July 12 and 19.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an Indian Air Force event.

"Currently, the window of opportunity is between July 12 and 19. We will take the earliest possible date, may be July 12, 13 or 14 and go towards the end, unless there is a technical issue cropping up," he said replying to queries related to the July 13 launch date.

"No exact date has been announced. We will come to that exact date after all the tests are completed… final date will be within this range," Somanath said.

ISRO said the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has been fully built and assembled with the faring, and is waiting for integration with the rocket.

"Currently, the rocket integration is going on and possibly it will be completed in another two to three days, and then we have to go for a test programme," Somanath said. He added that after integration with the rocket, a series of tests would also be carried out.

Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface. It has a lander and rover configuration. The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100-km lunar orbit. It has a Spectro-Polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth payload to study the spectral and polarimetric measurements of Earth from lunar orbit.

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