Indicating that there could be a slight delay in the launch of the third moon mission Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday, Chandrayaan-3 will be launched in the first half of 2021.

In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Singh said four biological and two physical science experiments related to micro-gravity will be conducted during the Gaganyaan project, India’s manned mission to space.

Singh said the revised configuration takes care of the robustness in design, capacity enhancement for mission flexibility and at the same time retained the heritage of Chandrayaan-II to the extent possible.

“The tentative launch schedule for Chandrayaan-III is first half of 2021. Chandrayaan-III mission has been configured based on the lessons learnt from Chandrayaan-II,” Singh said. Last year Chandrayaan-II had crash landed on lunar surface.

The Indian Space Research Organisation had then resolved to launch the project again. It had said the project is likely to be launched by the end of the year. Elaborating on the progress made on Gaganyaan, Singh said hardware realisation has commenced for ground test and space flight training of four astronaut candidates has also commenced.

“Four biological and two physical science experiments related to microgravity from academic institutions are short-listed…,” Singh said.

National collaboration for design, development and delivery of human-centric products such as crew medical kit, crew health monitoring system, emergency survival kit, dosimeters, earmuffs and fire suppression system has started, Singh said. A three-week training programme for flight surgeon was also completed at ISRO with participation of CNES, the space agency of France, he added.