Chandrayaan programme

On 15 August 2003, India's PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced India's first moon mission - Chandrayaan-1. Then after ISRO launched this moon mission and starts a series of these missions, and named these series as Chandrayaan programme.

chandrayaan program
a model of GSLV rocket
Image credit -SJCET Palai, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

All missions -


                         Indian space agency ISRO gets sudden fame in the world of space exploration by his Moon mission, named Chandrayaan-1. The word Chandrayaan means Moon craft. And the Craft was based on a meteorological satellite - Kalpansat of India. The mission contained a lunar orbiter and an impactor, and launched from Satish Dhawan space center, Sriharikota on 22 oct 2008.

The orbiter was a weight of about 525 kg.

This moon mission is known for significant results in the discovery of the presence of water on the lunar surface. And, it also detected Hydroxyl (HO) molecules on the lunar surface.

It was orbiting the Moon at the height of 100 km from the lunar surface and made 3,400 orbits until end. The life of the mission was 2 years, but unfortunately, ISRO scientists lost their connection with the orbiter. 

In 2017, some researchers tracked this orbiter in a polar orbit at a height of 200km from the lunar surface.

It carried out 11 payload - 5 Indian and 6 foreign and had a mass of 90kg. Using multiple payloads, it mapped the minerals and Apollo moon mission lading sites on Moon. And on that time, it sent about 535 images, daily.

The cost of this project was about 386 crore(54 US million dollars). 

Launch vehicle - PSLV-C11

Chandrayaan-2 :

                           After a remarkable mission on the moon, ISRO planned to launch Chandrayaan-2 on 22 July 2019 from the Satish Dhawan space center. For this mission, India space developed an orbiter, a Vikram lander, and a 6 - wheeled robotic  Pragyan rover for exploration of the lunar surface. The combined weight of this intruments - 3,877kg.

The main goal of this moon mission was to study water ice on the south polar region, and help to map 3D maps of the lunar surface.

Vikram lander in chandrayaan-2 mission was named after father of Indian space agency - Vikram Sarabhai. And rover name Pragyan simple means wisdom.

The orbiter had a period of 7 years, and both rover and lander had a period of 14 days. The orbiter is fine and will going to serve for 7 years, but the lander(with rover) had a hard landing(crashed) on the surface. With the help of the Chennai engineer, NASA tracked the sight of the crash landing of the lander. 

Launch vehicle - GSLV Mark III

ISRO has a backup plan for this mission - 

Chandrayaan-3 :

                         After the hard landing of Vikram rover in Chandrayaan-2 mission, ISRO chairman k Sivan announced Chandrayaan-3. The government of India approved this mission immediately and also gave 75 Crores (US$11 million) as an initial fund. The Mission cost may around 615 Crores (US$86 million), which is about half of the Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Since they placed the orbiter in the moon's orbit(in Chandrayaan-2), successfully and so they will only launch a lander(including a rover). They decided to set this mission in late December 2020, but coronavirus may affect his launch date.

ISRO is going to reduce its expected budget and improve technical issues in Chandrayaan-3. The gravity of the Chandrayaan-2 mission among world was high because it was the first attempt of human history to launch a mission on the south pole of the moon. And this gravity is maintained with Chandrayaan-3.

Launch vehicle - GSLV Mark III

Some reports say that Chandrayaan-3 will launch with the collaboration of Japan's space agency. Rover and launch vehicle will from japan's side and set to launch in 2024. 

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