Chandrayaan-2 (candra-yāna, transl. "mooncraft";[15][16] pronunciation ) is the second lunar exploration mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),[17][18] after Chandrayaan-1.[19][20] It consists of a lunar orbiter, the Vikram lander, and the Pragyan lunar rover, all of which were developed in India.[21] The main scientific objective is to map and study the variations in lunar surface composition, as well as the location and abundance of lunar water.[22][23]

The mission was launched on its course to the Moon from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre on 22 July 2019 at 2.43 PM IST (09:13 UTC) by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III).[9][10][24] The craft reached the Moon's orbit on 20 August 2019 and began orbital positioning manoeuvres for the landing of the Vikram lander.[25] Vikram and the rover were scheduled to land on the near side of the Moon, in the south polar region[26] at a latitude of about 70° south at approximately 20:23 UTC on 6 September 2019 and conduct scientific experiments for one lunar day, which approximates two Earth weeks.

However, the lander deviated from its intended trajectory starting at 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) altitude,[27] and had lost communication when touchdown confirmation was expected.[28][29] Initial reports suggesting a crash[30][31] have been confirmed by ISRO chairman K. Sivan, stating that the lander location had been found, and "it must have been a hard landing".[32]

As of 8 September 2019, on-going efforts are being made by ISRO in hopes of restoring communications with Vikram. Both ISRO and NASA are in the process of trying to restore communications through their respective Deep Space Networks. Communication attempts will likely cease on 21 September 2019, fourteen days after Vikram's landing attempt. The orbiter, part of the mission with eight scientific instruments, remains operational and is expected to continue its seven-year mission to study the Moon.

Chandrayaan-2 lander and orbiter integrated stack
Chandrayaan-2 composite
Mission typeLunar orbiter, lander, rover
OperatorIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
SATCAT no.2019-042A
Mission durationOrbiter: ~ 7 years
Elapsed: 13 days
Vikram lander ≤ 14 days[1][2]
Pragyan rover: ≤ 14 days[2]
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Launch massCombined (wet): 3,850 kg (8,490 lb)[3][4][5]
Combined (dry): 1,308 kg (2,884 lb)[6]
Orbiter (wet): 2,379 kg (5,245 lb)[4][5]
Orbiter (dry): 682 kg (1,504 lb)[6]
Vikram lander (wet): 1,471 kg (3,243 lb)[4][5]
Vikram lander (dry): 626 kg (1,380 lb)[6]
Pragyan rover: 27 kg (60 lb)[4][5]
PowerOrbiter: 1 kW[7]

Vikram lander: 650 W

Pragyan rover: 50 W
Start of mission
Launch date22 July 2019, 14:43:12 IST (09:13:12 UTC)[8]
RocketGSLV Mk III[9][10]
Launch siteSatish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad
ContractorIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Moon orbiter
Orbital insertion20 August 2019, 09:02 IST (03:32 UTC) [11][12]
Orbital parameters
Periapsis altitude100 km (62 mi)[13]
Apoapsis altitude100 km (62 mi)[13]
Inclination90° (polar orbit)
Moon lander
Spacecraft componentRover
Landing date7 September 2019, 01:55 IST
(6 September 2019, 20:25 UTC) [14][12]
Chandrayaan-2 mission explained


On 12 November 2007, representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and ISRO signed an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the Chandrayaan-2 project.[33] ISRO would have the prime responsibility for the orbiter and rover, while Roscosmos was to provide the lander. The Indian government approved the mission in a meeting of the Union Cabinet, held on 18 September 2008 and chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[34] The design of the spacecraft was completed in August 2009, with scientists of both countries conducting a joint review.[35][36]

Although ISRO finalised the payload for Chandrayaan-2 per schedule,[37] the mission was postponed in January 2013[38] and rescheduled to 2016 because Russia was unable to develop the lander on time.[39][40] Roscosmos later withdrew in wake of the failure of the Fobos-Grunt mission to Mars, since the technical aspects connected with the Fobos-Grunt mission were also used in the lunar projects, which needed to be reviewed.[39] When Russia cited its inability to provide the lander even by 2015, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.[38][41]

The spacecraft's launch had been scheduled for March 2018, but was first delayed to April and then to October to conduct further tests on the vehicle.[42][43] On 19 June 2018, after the program's fourth Comprehensive Technical Review meeting, a number of changes in configuration and landing sequence were planned for implementation, pushing the launch to the first half of 2019.[44] Two of the lander's legs got minor damage during one of the tests in February 2019.[45]

Chandrayaan-2 launch was initially scheduled for 14 July 2019, 21:21 UTC (15 July 2019 at 02:51 IST local time), with the landing expected on 6 September 2019.[20] However, the launch was aborted due to a technical glitch and was rescheduled.[46][8][47] The launch occurred on 22 July 2019 at 09:13 UTC (14:43 IST) on the first operational flight of a GSLV MK III M1.[48]


The primary objectives of the Chandrayaan-2 lander were to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals include orbital studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.[49] The orbiter will map the lunar surface and help to prepare 3D maps of it. The onboard radar will also map the surface while studying the water ice in the south polar region and thickness of the lunar regolith on the surface.[50]


The mission was launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) with an approximate lift-off mass of 3,850 kg (8,490 lb) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island.[3][13][10][51] As of June 2019, the mission has an allocated cost of 978 crore (approximately US$141 million) which includes 603 crore for space segment and 375 crore as launch costs on GSLV Mk III.[52][53] Chandrayaan-2 stack was initially put in an Earth parking orbit of 170 km perigee and 40,400 km apogee by the launch vehicle.[54]


GSLV Mk III M1, Chandrayaan-2 - Orbiter at SDSC SHAR 01
Chandrayaan-2 orbiter at integration facility

As of September 2019, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter was orbiting the Moon on a polar orbit at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi).[55] It carries eight scientific instruments; two of which are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1. The approximate launch mass was 2,379 kg (5,245 lb).[4][5][37][56] The Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) will conduct high-resolution observations of the landing site prior to separation of the lander from the orbiter.[55][2] The orbiter's structure was manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and delivered to ISRO Satellite Centre on 22 June 2015.[57][58]

  • Dimensions: 3.2 × 5.8 × 2.2 m[23]
  • Gross lift-off mass: 2,379 kg (5,245 lb)[3]
  • Propellant mass: 1,697 kg (3,741 lb)[6]
  • Dry mass: 682 kg (1,504 lb)[6]
  • Power generation capacity: 1000 W[23]
  • Mission duration: approximately 7.5 years, extended from the planned 1 year owing to the precise launch and mission management, in lunar orbit.[1][59]

Vikram lander

GSLV Mk III M1, Chandrayaan-2 - Pragyan rover mounted on the ramp of Vikram lander
Rover Pragyan mounted on the ramp of Vikram lander
Images of the Earth captured by Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander camera LI4[60]

The mission's lander is called Vikram (Sanskrit: विक्रम, lit. 'Valour[61]') Pronunciation  named after Vikram Sarabhai (1919–1971), who is widely regarded as the founder of the Indian space programme.[62]

The Vikram lander detached from the orbiter and descended to a low lunar orbit of 30 km × 100 km (19 mi × 62 mi) using its 800 N (180 lbf) liquid main engines. It then performed a comprehensive check of all its on-board systems before attempting a soft landing that would have deployed the rover, and perform scientific activities for approximately 14 Earth days. Vikram spacecraft apparently crash-landed.[30][1] The lander's location has been spotted on the surface via thermal imaging, but its condition is unknown.[32] The approximate combined mass of the lander and rover is 1,471 kg (3,243 lb).[4][5]

The preliminary configuration study of the lander was completed in 2013 by the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad.[38] The lander's propulsion system consists of eight 50 N (11 lbf) thrusters for attitude control and five 800 N (180 lbf) liquid main engines derived from ISRO's 440 N (99 lbf) Liquid Apogee Motor.[63][64] Initially, the lander design employed four main liquid engines, but a centrally mounted engine was added to handle new requirements of having to orbit the Moon before landing. The additional engine was expected to mitigate upward draft of lunar dust during the soft landing.[51] Vikram was designed to safely land on slopes up to 12°.[65][66]

Some associated technologies include a high resolution camera, Laser Altimeter (LASA),[67] Lander Hazard Detection Avoidance Camera (LHDAC), Lander Position Detection Camera (LPDC),[68] Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera (LHVC), an 800 N throttleable liquid main engine,[57] attitude thrusters, Ka band radio altimeters (KaRA),[69][70] Laser Inertial Reference & Accelerometer Package (LIRAP),[71] and the software needed to run these components.[2][55] Engineering models of the lander began undergoing ground and aerial tests in late October 2016, in Challakere in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka. ISRO created roughly 10 craters on the surface to help assess the ability of the lander's sensors to select a landing site.[72]

  • Dimensions: 2.54 × 2 × 1.2 m[23]
  • Gross lift-off mass: 1,471 kg (3,243 lb)[3]
  • Propellant mass: 845 kg (1,863 lb)[6]
  • Dry mass: 626 kg (1,380 lb)[6]
  • Power generation capability: 650 W
  • Mission duration: ≤14 days (one lunar day)[2]

Pragyan rover

Pragyaan Lunar Rover for Chandrayaan-2
Pragyan rover of the Chandrayaan-2 mission

The mission's rover is called Pragyan (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञान, lit. 'Wisdom[73][74]') Pronunciation )[75][73] with a mass of 27 kg (60 lb), would have operated on solar power.[4][5] The rover was to move on 6 wheels traversing 500 meters on the lunar surface at the rate of 1 cm per second, perform on-site analyses and send the data to the lander, which would have relayed it to the Mission Control on the Earth.[76][77][37][56][52] For navigation, the rover uses:

  • Stereoscopic camera-based 3D vision: two 1 megapixel, monochromatic NAVCAMs in front of the rover to provide the ground control team a 3D view of the surrounding terrain, and help in path-planning by generating a digital elevation model of the terrain.[78] IIT Kanpur contributed to the development of the subsystems for light-based map generation and motion planning for the rover.[79]
  • Control and motor dynamics: the rover has a rocker-bogie suspension system and six wheels, each driven by independent brushless DC electric motors. Steering is accomplished by differential speed of the wheels or skid steering.[80]

The expected operating time of Pragyan rover was one lunar day, or around 14 Earth days, as its electronics were not designed to endure the frigid lunar night. However, its power system has a solar-powered sleep/wake-up cycle implemented, which could have resulted in longer service time than planned.[81][82] Two aft wheels of the rover have the ISRO logo and the State Emblem of India embossed on them to leave behind patterned tracks on the lunar surface,[83][84] which is used to measure the exact distance travelled, also called visual odometry.

  • Dimensions: 0.9 × 0.75 × 0.85 m[23]
  • Power: 50 W[23]
  • Travel speed: 1 cm/sec.[23]
  • Mission duration: ≤14 days (one lunar day)


Chandrayaan-2 Mission Overview
Mission overview

ISRO selected eight scientific instruments for the orbiter, four for the lander,[85][3][86] and two for the rover.[37] While it was initially reported that NASA and ESA would participate in the mission by providing some scientific instruments for the orbiter,[87] ISRO in 2010 had clarified that due to weight restrictions it will not be carrying foreign payloads on this mission.[88] However, in an update just a month before launch,[89] an agreement between NASA and ISRO was signed to include a small laser retroreflector from NASA to the lander's payload to measure the distance between the satellites above and the microreflector on the lunar surface.[90][91]


Payloads on the orbiter are:[3][86][1]

  • Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), makes use of X-ray fluorescence spectra to determine the elemental composition of the lunar surface.
  • Solar X-ray monitor (XSM) from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad for mapping major elements present on the lunar surface.[37]
  • Dual Frequency L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) from Space Applications Centre (SAC) for probing the first few meters of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. DFSAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice, and its distribution below the shadowed regions of the Moon.[37] It has lunar surface penetration depth of 5 meters (L-band).[59][86]
  • Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from Space Applications Centre (SAC) for mapping of lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl present.[37] It works up to 5 microns, an improvement over previous lunar missions whose payloads worked up to 3 microns.[59]
  • Chandrayaan-2 Atmospheric Compositional Explorer 2 (ChACE-2) Quadrupole Mass Analyzer from Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.[37]
  • Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) from Space Applications Centre (SAC) for preparing a three-dimensional map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.[37]
  • Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere – Dual Frequency Radio Science experiment (RAMBHA-DFRS) by SPL for the studying electron density in the Lunar ionosphere.
  • Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) by SAC for scouting a hazard-free spot prior to landing. It will later help prepare high-resolution topographic maps and digital elevation models of the lunar surface. OHRC has spatial resolution of 0.3 m from 100 km polar orbit.[86]

Vikram lander

The payloads on the Vikram lander are:[3][86]

  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) MEMS based Seismometer by LEOS for studying Moon-quakes near the landing site[85][13][92]
  • Chandra's Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (ChaSTE) Thermal probe for estimating the thermal properties of the lunar surface[13]
  • RAMBHA-LP Langmuir probe for measuring the density and variation of lunar surface plasma.[85][13]
  • A laser retroreflector array (LRA) by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for taking precise measurements of distance between the reflector on the lunar surface and satellites in lunar orbit.[93][89][90] The micro-reflector weighs about 22 grams and can not be used for taking observations from Earth-based lunar laser stations.[90]

Pragyan rover

Pragyan rover carries two instruments to determine the abundance of elements near the landing site:[3][86]

Chandrayaan-2 payloads CHACE2
Chandrayaan-2 payloads XSM
Chandrayaan-2 payloads CLASS
Chandrayaan-2 payloads ILSA 6
ILSA MEMS sensor package
Laser Retroreflector for InSight Image-33-full
Laser retroreflector array (LRA)
Chandrayaan-2 payloads LIBS
Chandrayaan-2 payloads APXS
Chandrayaan-2 payloads ChaSTE

Mission profile

Animation of Chandrayaan-2 (LANDER) around Moon
Lunar landing phase
Animation of Chandrayaan-2 around Earth
Overall motion of Chandrayaan-2
Timeline of operations [94][95]
Phase Date Event Detail Result References
Apogee /
Perigee /
Geocentric phase 22 July 2019 09:13:12 UTC Launch Burn time: 16 min 14 sec 45,475 km (28,257 mi) 169.7 km (105.4 mi) [48]
24 July 2019 09:22 UTC 1st orbit-raising maneuver Burn time: 48 sec 45,163 km (28,063 mi) 230 km (140 mi) [96]
25 July 2019 19:38 UTC 2nd orbit-raising maneuver Burn time: 883 sec 54,829 km (34,069 mi) 251 km (156 mi) [97]
29 July 2019 09:42 UTC 3rd orbit-raising maneuver Burn time: 989 sec 71,792 km (44,609 mi) 276 km (171.5 mi) [98]
2 August 2019 09:57 UTC 4th orbit-raising maneuver Burn time: 646 sec 89,472 km (55,595 mi) 277 km (172 mi) [99]
6 August 2019 09:34 UTC 5th orbit-raising maneuver Burn time: 1041 sec 142,975 km (88,841 mi) 276 km (171 mi) [100]
13 August 2019 20:51 UTC Trans-lunar injection Burn time: 1203 sec
Selenocentric phase 20 August 2019 03:32 UTC Lunar orbit insertion
1st lunar bound maneuver
Burn time: 1738 sec 18,072 km (11,229 mi) 114 km (71 mi) [102]
21 August 2019 07:20 UTC 2nd lunar bound maneuver Burn time: 1228 sec 4,412 km (2,741 mi) 118 km (73 mi) [103]
28 August 2019 03:34 UTC 3rd lunar bound maneuver Burn time: 1190 sec 1,412 km (877 mi) 179 km (111 mi) [104]
30 August 2019 12:48 UTC 4th lunar bound maneuver Burn time: 1155 sec 164 km (102 mi) 124 km (77 mi) [105]
1 September 2019 12:51 UTC 5th lunar bound maneuver Burn time: 52 sec 127 km (79 mi) 119 km (74 mi) [106]
Vikram lunar landing 2 September 2019 7:45 UTC Vikram separation
127 km (79 mi) 119 km (74 mi) [107]
3 September 2019 3:20 UTC 1st deorbit burn Burn time: 4 sec 128 km (80 mi) 104 km (65 mi) [108]
3 September 2019 22:12 UTC 2nd deorbit burn Burn time: 9 sec 101 km (63 mi) 35 km (22 mi) [109]
6 September 2019 20:08 UTC Powered descent Burn time: 15 min Landing (planned) Landing (planned)
6 September 2019 20:23 UTC Vikram landing Trajectory deviation started at 2.1 km altitude, telemetry was lost seconds before touchdown.[28]
7 September 2019 00:00 UTC-01:00 UTC (planned) Pragyan rover deployment
GSLV Mk III M1, Chandrayaan-2 Lifting off 01
Chandrayaan-2 lifting off on 22 July 2019


Chandrayaan-2 launch was initially scheduled for 14 July 2019, 21:21 UTC (15 July 2019 at 02:51 IST local time).[20] However, the launch was aborted 56 minutes and 24 seconds before launch due to a technical glitch, so it was rescheduled to 22 July 2019.[46][8] Unconfirmed reports later cited a leak in the nipple joint of a helium gas bottle as the cause of cancellation.[47][112][113]

Finally Chandrayaan-2 was launched on-board the GSLV MK III M1 launch vehicle on 22 July 2019 at 09:13 UTC (14:43 IST) with better-than-expected apogee as a result of the cryogenic upper stage being burned to depletion, which later eliminated the need for one of the apogee-raising burns during the geocentric phase of mission.[48][114][115] This also resulted in the saving of around 40 kg fuel onboard the spacecraft.[116]

Immediately after launch, multiple observations of a slow-moving bright object over Australia were made, which could be related to upper stage venting of residual LOX/LH2 propellant after the main burn.[117][118]

Geocentric phase

Chandrayaan2 trajectory
Chandrayaan-2 trajectory

After being placed into a 45,475 × 169 km parking orbit by the launch vehicle,[48] the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft stack gradually raised its orbit using on-board propulsion over 22 days. In this phase, one perigee-raising and five apogee-raising burns were performed to reach a highly eccentric orbit of 142,975 × 276 km[100] followed by trans-lunar injection on 13 August 2019.[101] Such long Earth-bound phase with multiple orbit-raising manoeuvres exploiting the Oberth effect was required because of the limited lifting capacity of the launch vehicle and thrust of the spacecraft's on-board propulsion system. A similar strategy was used for Chandrayaan-1 and the Mars Orbiter Mission during their Earth-bound phase trajectory.[119] On 3 August 2019, the first set of Earth images were captured by the LI4 camera on the Vikram lander, showing North American landmass.[60]

Selenocentric phase

After 29 days from its launch, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft stack entered lunar orbit on 20 August 2019 after performing a lunar orbit insertion burn for 28 minutes 57 seconds. The three-spacecraft stack was placed into an elliptical orbit that passes over the polar regions of the Moon, with 18,072 km (11,229 mi) aposelene and 114 km (71 mi) periselene.[102] By 1 September 2019 this elliptical orbit was made nearly circular with 127 km (79 mi) aposelene and 119 km (74 mi) periselene after four orbit-lowering maneuvers[103][104][105][106] followed by separation of Vikram lander from the orbiter on 7:45 UTC, 2 September 2019.[107]

Planned landing site

Landing site [120] Coordinates
Prime landing site 70°54′10″S 22°46′52″E / 70.90267°S 22.78110°E
Alternate landing site 67°52′27″S 18°28′10″W / 67.87406°S 18.46947°W

Two landing sites were selected, each with a landing ellipse of 32 × 11 km.[120] The prime landing site (PLS54) is at 70.90267 S 22.78110 E (~350 km north of the South Pole-Aitken Basin rim[26][120]), and the alternate landing site (ALS01) is at 67.874064 S 18.46947 W. The prime site is on a high plain between the craters Manzinus C and Simpelius N,[121][26] on the near side of the Moon.

Hard landing

Vikram began its descent at 20:08:03 UTC, 6 September 2019 and was scheduled to land on the Moon at around 20:23 UTC. The descent and soft-landing were to be done by the on-board computers on Vikram, with mission control unable to make corrections.[122]

The initial descent was considered within mission parameters, passing critical braking procedures as expected, but the lander's trajectory began to deviate at about 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi; 6,900 ft) above the surface.[123][124] The final telemetry readings during ISRO's live-stream show that Vikram's final vertical velocity was 58 m/s (210 km/h) at 330 meters above the surface which, according to the MIT Technology Review, is "quite fast for a lunar landing."[28] Initial reports suggesting a crash[30][31] were confirmed by ISRO chairman K. Sivan, stating that the lander location was found and that "it must have been a hard landing".[32][125][126]

Radio transmissions from the lander were tracked during descent by analysts using a 25-meter radio telescope owned by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Analysis of the doppler data suggests that the loss of signal coincided with the lander impacting the lunar surface at a velocity of nearly 50 metres (160 ft) per second (as opposed to an ideal 2 metres (6.6 ft) per second touchdown velocity).[3][127]

The powered descent was also observed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using its Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) instrument to study changes in the lunar exosphere due to exhaust gases from the lander's engines.[128]


The mission's orbiter used thermal imaging to locate the lander.[129] Unconfirmed reports, citing an ISRO official, stated that the lander was intact,[130] but there has been no official announcement by ISRO on the lander's physical condition.[32][131] ISRO's Chairman, K. Sivan, tasked senior scientist P. S. Goel to head the Failure Analysis Committee to look into the causes of the failure.[132] As of 8 September 2019, ongoing efforts are being made by ISRO in hopes to restore communications with Vikram,[133] while NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is scheduled to fly over and acquire optical images for ISRO on 17 September 2019.[134][135]

The orbiter part of the mission, with eight scientific instruments, remains operational, and will continue its seven-year mission to study the Moon.[124]


A view of Mission Operations Complex 1 (MOX-1) at ISTRAC, Peenya before commencement of fourth orbit raising burn for Chandrayaan-2
A view of Mission Operations Complex (MOX-1), ISTRAC[136] prior to the fourth Earth-bound burn.[99]

Key scientists and engineers involved in the development of Chandrayaan-2 include:[137][138][139]

  • Ritu Karidhal – Mission Director
  • Muthayya Vanitha – Project Director
  • K. Kalpana – Associate Project Director[140]
  • G. Narayanan – Associate Project Director[141]
  • G. Nagesh – Project Director (former)[142]
  • Chandrakanta Kumar – Deputy Project Director (Radio frequency systems)
  • Amitabh Singh – Deputy Project Director (Optical Payload Data Processing, SAC)[143]

See also


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  2. ^ a b c d e Nair, Avinash (31 May 2015). "ISRO to deliver "eyes and ears" of Chandrayaan-2 by 2015-end". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Launch Kit of GSLV Mk III M1 Chandrayaan-2" (PDF). ISRO. 19 July 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Chandrayaan-2 to Be Launched in January 2019, Says ISRO Chief". Gadgets360. NDTV. Press Trust of India. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "ISRO to send first Indian into Space by 2022 as announced by PM, says Dr Jitendra Singh" (Press release). Department of Space. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Chandrayaan-2: All you need to know about India's 2nd Moon mission". 22 July 2019. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 – Home". Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Chandrayan-2 Launch Rescheduled on 22nd July, 2019, AT 14:43 HRS". Indian Space Research Organisation. 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b Singh, Surendra (5 August 2018). "Chandrayaan-2 launch put off: India, Israel in lunar race for 4th position". The Times of India. Times News Network. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Shenoy, Jaideep (28 February 2016). "ISRO chief signals India's readiness for Chandrayaan II mission". The Times of India. Times News Network. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  11. ^ Ratcliffe, Rebecca (22 July 2019). "India's Chandrayaan-2 moon mission lifts off a week after aborted launch". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  12. ^ a b "GSLV-Mk III – M1 / Chandrayaan-2 Mission". Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Kiran Kumar, Aluru Seelin (August 2015). Chandrayaan-2 – India's Second Moon Mission. Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  14. ^ "ISRO aims for Chandrayaan-2 landing at 1.55 AM on September 07, says Dr K. Sivan". Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  15. ^ Monier Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (1899): candra: "[...] m. the moon (also personified as a deity Mn. &c)" yāna: "[...] n. a vehicle of any kind , carriage , waggon , vessel , ship , [...]"
  16. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 FAQ". Retrieved 24 August 2019. The name Chandrayaan means “Chandra- Moon, Yaan-vehicle”, –in Indian languages (Sanskrit and Hindi), – the lunar spacecraft.
  17. ^ Kumar, Chethan (10 June 2019). "Chandrayaan-2 nearly ready for July launch". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  18. ^ d. s, Madhumathi (9 June 2019). "ISRO gears up for Chandrayaan-2 mission". The Hindu.
  19. ^ "ISRO begins flight integration activity for Chandrayaan-2, as scientists tests lander and rover". The Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  20. ^ a b c "Press release on Chandrayaan-2, ISRO". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  21. ^ Bagla, Pallava (4 August 2018). "India Slips in Lunar Race with Israel As Ambitious Mission Hits Delays". NDTV. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  22. ^ Rathinavel, T.; Singh, Jitendra (24 November 2016). "Question No. 1084: Deployment of Rover on Lunar Surface" (PDF). Rajya Sabha.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "Launch kit at a glance".
  24. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 Launch Mission: Bahubali rocket set to take-off at 2:43 pm today".
  25. ^ Kottasová, Ivana; Gupta, Swati (20 August 2019). "India's Chandrayaan-2 moon mission enters lunar orbit". CNN. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  26. ^ a b c Geological Insights into Chandrayaan-2 Landing Site in the Southern High Latitudes of the Moon. Rishiosh K. Sinha, Vijayan Sivaprahasam, Megha Bhatt, Harish Nandal, Nandita Kumari, Neeraj Srivastava, Indhu Varatharajan, Dwijesh Ray, Christian Wöhler, and Anil Bhardwaj. 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019 (LPI Contrib. No. 2132).
  27. ^ "Extra brake thrust may have sent Vikram out of control in home stretch".
  28. ^ a b c Neel V. Patel (6 September 2019). "India's Chandrayaan-2 lander likely crashed into the moon's surface". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
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External links

2019 in spaceflight

This article documents notable spaceflight events during the year 2019.

Abhay Kumar

Abhay Kumar or Abhay K. (b. 1980) is an Indian poet-diplomat and India's 21st Ambassador to Madagascar and Ambassador to Comoros. He has served in different diplomatic capacities earlier in Russia, Nepal and Brazil. His published collections of poetry include The Seduction of Delhi, The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu, The Prophecy of Brasilia among others while his edited books are CAPITALS, 100 Great Indian Poems, 100 More Great Indian Poems, New Brazilian Poems among others. He recorded his poems at the Library of Congress.His writings cover poetry, art, memoir, global democracy and digital diplomacy. His Earth Anthem has been translated into over 50 languages. He also wrote an anthem for SAARC spurring search for an official SAARC Anthem. He wrote a 'Moon Anthem' to celebrate the success of India's Moon Mission Chandrayaan-2.,He received the SAARC Literary Award for his contribution to contemporary South Asian Poetry and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2013. He has also been honoured with Asia-Pacific Excellence Award in 2014. His The Seduction of Delhi was shortlisted for Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award 2015.

Alpha particle X-ray spectrometer

APXS is also an abbreviation for APache eXtenSion tool, an extension for Apache web servers.An alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) is a spectrometer that analyses the chemical element composition of a sample from the scattered alpha particles, and fluorescent X-rays after the sample is irradiated with alpha particles and X-rays from radioactive sources. This method of analysing the elemental composition of a sample is most often used on space missions, which require low weight, small size, and minimal power consumption. Other methods (e.g. mass spectrometry) are faster, and do not require the use of radioactive materials, but require larger equipment with less modest power requirements. A variation is the alpha proton X-ray spectrometer, such as on the Pathfinder mission, which also detects protons.

Over the years several modified versions of this type of instrument such as APS (without X-ray spectrometer) or APXS have been flown: Surveyor 5-7, Mars Pathfinder, Mars 96, Mars Exploration Rover, Phobos, Mars Science Laboratory and the Philae comet lander. APS/APXS devices will be included on several upcoming missions including the Chandrayaan-2 lunar rover.


The CE-20 is a cryogenic rocket engine developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, a subsidiary of Indian Space Research Organisation. It has been developed to power the upper stage of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III. It is the first Indian cryogenic engine to feature a gas-generator cycle. The high thrust cryogenic engine is one of

the most powerful upper stage cryogenic engines in the world.


Chandrayaan-1 (transl. Moon-craft, pronunciation ) was the first Indian lunar probe under Chandrayaan program. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India launched the spacecraft using a PSLV-XL rocket, serial number C11, on 22 October 2008 at 00:52 UTC from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh about 80 km (50 mi) north of Chennai. The mission was a major boost to India's space program, as India researched and developed its own technology in order to explore the Moon. The vehicle was inserted into lunar orbit on 8 November 2008.On 14 November 2008, the Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter at 14:36 UTC and struck the south pole in a controlled manner, making India the fourth country to place its flag insignia on the Moon. The probe hit near the crater Shackleton at 15:01 UTC, ejecting sub-surface soil that could be analysed for the presence of lunar water ice. The location of impact was named as Jawahar Point.The estimated cost for the project was ₹386 crore (US$56 million).The remote sensing lunar satellite had a mass of 1,380 kg (3,040 lb) at launch and 675 kg (1,488 lb) in lunar orbit. It carried high resolution remote sensing equipment for visible, near infrared, and soft and hard X-ray frequencies. Over a two-year period, it was intended to survey the lunar surface to produce a complete map of its chemical characteristics and three-dimensional topography. The polar regions are of special interest as they might contain ice. The lunar mission carried five ISRO payloads and six payloads from other space agencies including NASA, ESA, and the Bulgarian Aerospace Agency, which were carried free of cost. Among its many achievements was the discovery of widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil.After almost a year, the orbiter started suffering from several technical issues including failure of the star sensors and poor thermal shielding; Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals about 20:00 UTC on 28 August 2009, shortly after which the ISRO officially declared the mission over. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95% of its planned objectives.On 2 July 2016, NASA used ground-based radar systems to relocate Chandrayaan-1 in its lunar orbit, more than seven years after it shut down. Repeated observations over the next three months allowed a precise determination of its orbit which varies between 150 and 270 km (93 and 168 mi) in altitude every two years.


Chandrayaan-3 (Sanskrit: [tɕɐndɽaːjaːn]; transl. Moon-craft, pronunciation ) is a robotic sample-return lunar mission concept by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan's space agency JAXA that would send a lunar rover and lander to explore the south pole region of the Moon in 2024. JAXA is likely to provide the under-development H3 launch vehicle and the rover, while ISRO would be responsible for the lander.The mission concept has not yet been formally proposed for funding and planning. If approved, it would be the third mission of India's Chandrayaan programme.

The mission would demonstrate new surface exploration technologies related to vehicular transport and lunar night survival for sustainable lunar exploration in polar regions with payload capacity of "several-hundred kilograms". Water prospecting, sample collection and analysis, and sample-return, are likely to be mission objectives. Payload proposals from other space agencies might be sought.

Chandrayaan programme

The Chandrayaan programme (pronunciation ), also known as the Indian Lunar Exploration Programme is an ongoing series of outer space missions by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The programme incorporates a lunar orbiter, impactor, and future lunar lander and rover spacecraft. The name of the programme is from Sanskrit candrayāna (transl. 'Moon-craft').

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III), also referred to as the Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3) is a three-stage medium-lift launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Primarily designed to launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit, it is also identified as launch vehicle for crewed missions under the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme and dedicated science missions like Chandrayaan-2. The GSLV-III has a higher payload capacity than the similarly named GSLV Mk 2.After several delays and a sub-orbital test flight on 18 December 2014, ISRO successfully conducted the first orbital test launch of GSLV-III on 5 June 2017 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Andhra Pradesh.In June 2018, the Union Cabinet approved ₹4,338 crore (US$630 million) to build 10 GSLV Mk-III rockets over a five-year period.On 15 August 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day speech an Indian foray into human spaceflight in 2022 with the aim of sending a crewed spacecraft called Gaganyaan to low Earth orbit. The GSLV Mk III launched Chandrayaan-2 on 22 July 2019 at 9:13 UTC from the Second Launch Pad.

Indian Space Research Organisation

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO, ) (Hindi; IAST: bhārtīya antrikṣ anusandhān saṅgṭhan) is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration". The Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was established in the tenure of Jawaharlal Nehru under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in 1962, with the urging of scientist Vikram Sarabhai recognizing the need in space research. INCOSPAR grew and became ISRO in 1969, also under the DAE. In 1972, Government of India setup a Space Commission and the Department of Space (DOS), bringing ISRO under the DOS. The establishment of ISRO thus institutionalized space research activities in India. It is managed by the DOS, which reports to the prime minister of India.ISRO built India's first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975. It was named after the mathematician Aryabhata. In 1980, Rohini became the first satellite to be placed in orbit by an Indian-made launch vehicle, SLV-3. ISRO subsequently developed two other rockets: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for launching satellites into polar orbits and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for placing satellites into geostationary orbits. These rockets have launched numerous communications satellites and Earth observation satellites. Satellite navigation systems like GAGAN and IRNSS have been deployed. In January 2014, ISRO used an indigenous cryogenic engine in a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14.ISRO sent a lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, on 22 October 2008, which discovered lunar water in the form of ice, and the Mars Orbiter Mission, on 5 November 2013, which entered Mars orbit on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its maiden attempt to Mars, as well as the first space agency in Asia to reach Mars orbit. On 18 June 2016, ISRO launched twenty satellites in a single vehicle, and on 15 February 2017, ISRO launched one hundred and four satellites in a single rocket (PSLV-C37), a world record. ISRO launched its heaviest rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), on 5 June 2017 and placed a communications satellite GSAT-19 in orbit. With this launch, ISRO became capable of launching 4-ton heavy satellites into GTO. On 22 July 2019, ISRO launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, which consists of an orbiter, lander and rover, to study the lunar geology and the distribution of lunar water.

Future plans include development of the Unified Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, development of a reusable launch vehicle, human spaceflight, a space station, interplanetary probes, and a solar spacecraft mission.

Jitendra Nath Goswami

Jitendranath Goswami (born 18 November 1950) is an Indian scientist from Jorhat, Assam. He was the Chief Scientist of Chandrayaan-1, and was also the developer of this project. He served as a director of Physical Research Laboratory situated at Ahmadabad, Gujarat. He was also associated with Chandrayaan-2 and Mangalyaan.

Kailasavadivoo Sivan

Kailasavadivoo Sivan (born 14 April 1957) is an Indian space scientist and the chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organization. He has previously served as the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

List of ISRO missions

The Indian Space Research Organisation has carried out 97 spacecraft missions,69 launch missions and planned many missions including Aditya (spacecraft).

Lunar rover

A lunar rover or Moon rover is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of the Moon. The Apollo Program's Lunar Roving Vehicle was driven on the Moon by members of three American crews, Apollo 15, 16, and 17. Other rovers have been partially or fully autonomous robots, such as the Soviet Union's Lunokhods and the Chinese Yutus. Four countries have had operating rovers on the Moon: the Soviet Union, the United States and China. Indian mission is en-route while Japan and Greece currently have planned missions.

Moon landing

A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and robotic missions. The first human-made object to touch the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2, on 13 September 1959.The United States' Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon, on 20 July 1969. There were six manned U.S. landings between 1969 and 1972, and numerous unmanned landings, with no soft landings happening between 22 August 1976 and 14 December 2013.

The United States is the only country to have successfully conducted manned missions to the Moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972. All soft landings took place on the near side of the Moon until 3 January 2019, when the Chinese Chang'e 4 spacecraft made the first landing on the far side of the Moon.

Muthayya Vanitha

Muthayya Vanitha is an Indian electronics system engineer who has led projects on satellites at the Indian Space Research Organization. She is currently the project director of the Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission of the ISRO.

Mylswamy Annadurai

Mylswamy Annadurai is an Indian scientist working as Vice president for Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology (TNSCST). He was born on July 2, 1958 in a village called Kothavadi near Pollachi in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu state of India). Prior to taking this assignment he was with Indian Space Research Organisation and served as Director, ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore. During his 36 years of service in ISRO he had some of the major contributions including two of the major missions of ISRO namely Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan. Annadurai has been listed among 100 Global thinkers of 2014 and topped the innovators list. His works are mentioned in textbooks of Tamil Nadu Board of Secondary Education

Pragyan (rover)

Pragyan (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञान;; lit: Wisdom Pronunciation .) was the rover of Chandrayaan-2, a lunar mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).The Vikram lander crash-landed, and communication was lost, so the rover could not be deployed.

Rover (space exploration)

A rover (or sometimes planetary rover) is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet or other celestial body. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew; others have been partially or fully autonomous robots. Rovers usually arrive at the planetary surface on a lander-style spacecraft. Rovers are created to land on another planet, besides Earth, to find out information and to take samples. They can collect dust, rocks, and even take pictures. They are very useful for exploring the universe.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (or SSLV) is a launch vehicle being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with payload capacity of 500 kg to Low Earth orbit or 300 kg to Sun synchronous orbit for launching small satellites, with the capability to support multiple orbital drop-offs. On 21 December 2018, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba completed the design for the vehicle. According to the director of VSSC, S.Somanath, the maiden flight is expected to be no earlier than December 2019 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre.After entering the operational phase, the vehicle's production and launch operation is expected to be done by a consortium of Indian firms along with New Space India Limited from an alternate launch site.

Cancelled /
See also
India Indian space programme
Space observatories
Lunar and
planetary spacecraft
Crewed spacecraft
Space probes
Human spaceflight
21st-century space probes
Active space probes
(deep space missions)
Completed after 2000
(by termination date)
2019 in space
Space probe launches
Impact events
Selected NEOs
Space exploration


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