"They are from the Air Force", Sivan said.
Highlighting the progress of Gaganyaan, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, chairman of ISRO, in a press conference, on Wednesday (December 1), said that the process of astronaut selection for the mission is completed. But in the early hours of the September 7, moments before it was expected to land, ISRO lost contact with Vikram, just 2.1 kilometres above the lunar surface. Gaganyaan, India's human space mission which aims to send Indians to space by 2022, is another vital programme planned by the ISRO. Up to 3 astronauts are to take part in the mission, which will be one of the landmark projects scheduled for the 75th anniversary of India's independence from British rule. However, Chandrayaan 2 can't be seen as failure, the official explained.
If successful, it would make India the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, and boost its credentials as a low-priced space power. "The orbiter is still functioning, and it is going to function for the next seven years to produce science data", he said.
He also stated that Chandrayaan-3's configuration will be nearly similar to Chandrayaan-2 but will have a rover with a propulsion module. Chandrayaan-3 will be a repeat of Chandrayaan-2, and will link to the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter already in space.
India has announced it will make another attempt to land on the moon, following a mission that ended in failure previous year.
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Last month, NASA released an image showing the debris field left on the moon by the doomed lander.
India's second lunar mission lander Chandrayaan 2 had lost contact shortly before the scheduled attempt to soft-land on the moon on September 7. "We didn't put pictures because that is strategic information".
He said ISRO is acquiring land for a second spaceport in Thoothukudi. The space port will be spread over an area of 2300 acres. It will be the site for the maiden launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). The existing space center, at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, had been upgraded with a public viewing gallery, he added.
He also said that India plans to launch at least 25 space missions in 2020.
On the lines of GPS navigation system developed by America, the Indian navigation system called Navic with the indigenous atomic clock will be operational with mobile phone manufacturers coming forward to install the regional navigation device.