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').

Chandrayaan programme
OrganizationIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
PurposeExploration of the Moon
Program history
Cost1,364 crore (US$200 million)[1][2]
Maiden flightChandrayaan-1, 22 October 2008
Last flightChandrayaan-2, 22 July 2019
Launch site(s)
Vehicle information
Vehicle typelunar orbiters, landers and rovers
Launch vehicle(s)

Programme structure

The Chandrayaan (Indian Lunar Exploration Programme) programme is a multiple mission programme. As of September 2019, one orbiter with an impactor probe has been sent to the Moon, using ISRO's workhorse PSLV rocket. The second spacecraft consisting of orbiter, soft lander and rover was launched on 22 July 2019, by using a GSLV Mk III rocket.

Phase I: Orbiter/Impactor

CY1 2007 (cropped)
Diagram of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced the Chandrayaan project on course in his Independence Day speech on 15 August 2003. The mission was a major boost to India's space program. The idea of an Indian scientific mission to the Moon was first mooted in 1999 during a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences. The Astronautical Society of India carried forward the idea in 2000. Soon after, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set up the National Lunar Mission Task Force which concluded that ISRO has the technical expertise to carry out an Indian mission to the Moon. In April 2003 over 100 eminent Indian scientists in the fields of planetary and space sciences, Earth sciences, physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics and engineering and communication sciences discussed and approved the Task Force recommendation to launch an Indian probe to the Moon. Six months later, in November, the Indian government gave the nod for the mission.

The first phase includes the launch of the first lunar orbiters.

  • Chandrayaan-1, launched on 22 October 2008 aboard a PSLV-XL rocket, was a big success for ISRO as the Moon Impact Probe, a payload on board the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, discovered water on the Moon. Apart from discovering water the Chandrayaan-1 mission performed several other tasks such as mapping and atmospheric profiling of the Moon.

Phase II: Soft lander/Rover

Chandrayaan-2 lander and orbiter integrated stack
Orbiter and lander in stacked configuration with the rover inside the lander

On 18 September 2008, the First Manmohan Singh Cabinet approved the mission.[3] The design of the spacecraft was completed in August 2009, with scientists of both countries conducting a joint review.[4][5]

Although ISRO finalised the payload for Chandrayaan-2 per schedule,[6] the mission was postponed in January 2013[7] and rescheduled to 2016 because Russia was unable to develop the lander on time.[8][9] 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.[8] When Russia cited its inability to provide the lander even by 2015, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.[7][10] The second phase, under preparation as of 2018, will incorporate a spacecraft capable of soft-landing on the Moon and will also deploy a robotic rover on the lunar surface, along with an orbiter to take additional measurements.

Chandrayaan-2 was to be launched on 14 July 2019. But the launch was called off at the last moments, 56 minutes before the launch because of technical issue. It was launched later on 22 July, 2019[11] aboard a GSLV Mk III rocket.

On September 6th, 2019 at approximately 1:53 the Indian space agency, ISRO, mission control lost all contact with the craft, while attempting to land. It was estimated to be at a height of 2.1 km from the moon's surface when contact was lost.

Phase III: In situ sampling/probable sample return

The next mission will be Chandrayaan-3. It is suggested to be launched in 2023.[12][13][14] India is collaborating with Japan in this mission but the mission is not yet defined. Most likely it will be a lander-rover mission to perform In situ sampling and analysis of collected lunar material[15][16] and demonstrate lunar night survival technologies.[17] There is also speculation that this mission may include lunar sample return.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 mission cheaper than Hollywood film Interstellar - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  2. ^ "Question No. 2222: Status of Chandrayaan Programme" (PDF).
  3. ^ Sunderarajan, P. (19 September 2008). "Cabinet clears Chandrayaan-2". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  4. ^ "ISRO completes Chandrayaan-2 design". 17 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  5. ^ "India and Russia complete design of new lunar probe". Sputnik News. RIA Novosti. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Payloads for Chandrayaan-2 Mission Finalised" (Press release). Indian Space Research Organisation. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  7. ^ a b Ramachandran, R. (22 January 2013). "Chandrayaan-2: India to go it alone". The Hindu.
  8. ^ a b Laxman, Srinivas (6 February 2012). "India's Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission Likely Delayed After Russian Probe Failure". Asian Scientist. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  9. ^ "India's next moon mission depends on Russia: ISRO chief". NDTV. Indo-Asian News Service. 9 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 would be a lone mission by India without Russian tie-up". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 14 August 2013.
  11. ^ ISRO set for April launch of Chandrayaan-2 after missed deadline. Vikram Gopal, Hindustan Times. 11 January 2019.
  12. ^ Shimbun, The Yomiuri (2019-07-30). "Japan, India to team up in race to discover water on moon". The Japan News. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  13. ^ After Mars, ISRO to Set a Date with Venus. Trak. Malvika Gurung. 20 May 2019.
  14. ^ After Reaching Mars, India's Date With Venus In 2023 Confirmed, Says ISRO. U. Tejonmayam, India Times. 18 May 2019.
  15. ^ "The Hindu". 17 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Episode 82: Jaxa and International Collaboration with Professor Fujimoto Masaki". AstrotalkUK. 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  17. ^ Sasaki, Hiroshi (17 June 2019). "JAXA's Lunar Exploration Activities" (PDF). UNOOSA. p. 8. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  18. ^ "After Chandrayaan-2, is India planning a third moon trip with Japan?". 22 July 2019.

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-2 (candra-yāna, transl. "mooncraft"; pronunciation ) is the second lunar exploration mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after Chandrayaan-1. It consists of a lunar orbiter, the Vikram lander, and the Pragyan lunar rover, all of which were developed in India. 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.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). The craft reached the Moon's orbit on 20 August 2019 and began orbital positioning manoeuvres for the landing of the Vikram lander. Vikram and the rover were scheduled to land on the near side of the Moon, in the south polar region 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, and had lost communication when touchdown confirmation was expected. Initial reports suggesting a crash have been confirmed by ISRO chairman K. Sivan, stating that the lander location had been found, and "it must have been a hard landing".As of 8 September 2019, on-going efforts are being made by ISRO in hopes of restoring communications with Vikram. 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-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.

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 resources

The Moon bears substantial natural resources which could be exploited in the future. Potential lunar resources may encompass processable materials such as volatiles and minerals, along with geologic structures such as lava tubes that together, might enable lunar habitation. The use of resources on the Moon may provide a means of reducing the cost and risk of lunar exploration and beyond.Insights about lunar resources gained from orbit and sample-return missions have greatly enhanced the understanding of the potential for in situ resource utilization (ISRU) at the Moon, but that knowledge is not yet sufficient to fully justify the commitment of large financial resources to implement an ISRU-based campaign. The determination of resource availability will drive the selection of sites for human settlement.

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 lander crash-landed, and communication was lost, so the rover could not be deployed.

Space Research Centre of Polish Academy of Sciences

The Space Research Centre (SRC, Polish: Centrum Badań Kosmicznych) is an interdisciplinary research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It was established in 1977. SRC PAS is the only institute in Poland whose activity is fully dedicated to the research of terrestrial space, the solar system and the Earth using space technology and satellite techniques.

The SRC also acts as Poland's national space agency until the Polish Space Agency) is fully established.

Since 1977 the SRC staff developed, constructed and prepared for launch over 60 instruments and participated in the experiments in more than 50 space missions, for example: European Space Agency's Cassini–Huygens mission (investigation of Saturn and Titan), INTEGRAL (space laboratory of high energy astrophysics), Mars Express (Mars orbiter), Rosetta (mission to comet), Venus Express (Venus orbiter), Herschel Space Observatory (investigation of the coldest and most distant objects in the Universe), BepiColombo (mission to Mercury), Roscosmos's Koronas-F, Koronas-I, Koronas-Foton and Fobos-Grunt missions, and CNES' DEMETER and TARANIS missions. Space Research Centre has co-operated with the ESA since 1991. SRC has also collaborated with NASA (IBEX mission) and ISRO (Chandrayaan programme).

India Indian space programme
Space observatories
Lunar and
planetary spacecraft
Crewed spacecraft
Space probes
Human spaceflight
Cancelled /
See also


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