The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday informed that the training of astronauts for the ambitious manned mission ‘Gaganyaan’ will commence from the third week of January in Russia.

ISRO chief K Sivan said that four astronauts have been identified for the mission adding that the training of astronauts will start from third week of this month in Russia.

He further said that the Government has approved Chandrayaan-3 and that work related to Chandrayaan-3 and ‘Gaganyaan’ was going on simultaneously.

Speaking on Chandrayaan-2, which faltered in its last leg, Sivan said that the space agency has made good progress on the mission even if it did not successfully land on the lunar surface. He said the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2 is still functioning and will go on for the next seven years to produce science data.

The ISRO chief also congratulated the Chennai based techie who recently located the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 that hard-landed and maintained that it was the space agency’s policy not to release picture of the crashed module.

“We know where it crashed and where it is located,” Mr Sivan said. To a question on what went wrong with Vikram lander, he said it was due to velocity reduction failure.

“The velocity reduction failure was due to internal reasons,” he said.

Chandrayaan-2 mission was India’s first attempt to land on the lunar surface. The ISRO had planned the landing on South Pole of the lunar surface. However, the lander Vikram hard-landed.

K Sivan further added that the land acquisition for a second space port has been initiated and it will be in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.