BENGALURU: ISRO on Wednesday announced that the launch of country's third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 may happen next year and said four from the Indian Air Force have been selected for the ambitious Gaganyaan programme, whose astronaut training would commence soon in Russia.

The announcement comes a day after Union Minister Jitendra Singh said India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020.

Addressing a press conference here, ISRO chairman K Sivan said work related to the third lunar mission was going on smoothly. It will have a lander, rover and a propulsion module like its predecessor, he noted. He also said the launch of Chandrayaan-3 may shift to next year.

Work on both Chandrayaan-3 and Gaganyaan, the country's maiden manned space mission, was going on simultaneously, he added.

Noting that Chandrayaan-2 orbiter's mission life was seven years, he said it would be used for the third lunar mission as well.

Giving an estimate of the project cost for Chandrayaan-3, Sivan said, "it would cost Rs 250 crore." On future missions, he said, "25 missions have been planned for 2020."

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