Ludhiana: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somnath said that the next instalment of the Chandrayaan programme is under development, which will take forward the country's moon exploration.

He stated that Chandrayaan-4 is the first step towards achieving the goal of India landing an astronaut on the moon in 2040.

Addressing a press conference, Somnath said, "Chandrayaan-4 is a concept that we are now developing as a continuation of the Chandrayaan series...our honourable Prime Minister has announced that an Indian will land on the moon in 2040. So, if that has to happen, we have to have continuous moon exploration of various kinds."

"Chandrayaan-4 is the first step in the step a craft on the moon and collect sample and bring it back to Earth. It demonstrates the full cycle of going to the moon and coming back to Earth," he added.

Somnath further said that ISRO is working on plenty of other projects ranging from rocket and satellite projects to technology development projects.

"There are plenty. We have major projects, rocket projects, we have satellite projects, application projects and technology development projects. Rocket projects are around 5-10, satellite projects are about 30-40, and application projects are in 100s and R&D projects are in 1000s," he added.

India took a giant leap as the Chandrayaan-3 lander module successfully landed on the moon's South Pole on August 23, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat.

In January, India placed its first dedicated solar mission, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, in the Halo orbit.

The Gaganyaan project is another major Indian mission that envisages a demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members into an orbit of 400 km for a 3-day mission and bringing them safely back to earth by landing in Indian waters.

(With Agency Inputs)