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Chandrayaan 1,2,3 (Indian Lunar Exploration Mission)

news-details Image Source Apr 27, 2021 10:01 IST , Updated: Sep 07, 2021 11:00 IST · 2 min read

The Chandrayaan programme or Indian Lunar Exploration Programme is an ongoing series of outer space missions by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The programme incorporates lunar orbiter, impactor, soft lander and rover spacecraft.


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 and performed several other tasks such as mapping and atmospheric profiling of the Moon.

It carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.

Chandrayaan-1 data indicates that Moon may be rusting at poles and it's poles are home to water.


In 2015, Russia cited its inability to provide the lander for Chandrayaan-2, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.

Chandrayaan-2, a completely indigenous mission was launched on 22 July 2019 aboard a GSLV Mk III-M1 rocket. It includes three basic components - Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan).

The primary objective of the mission was to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface.

It would have been 1st Indian expedition and 4th country (after US, U.S.S.R. and China) ever to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface with homegrown technology.

The spacecraft was successfully put into lunar orbit on August 20, 2019 but the lander was lost while attempting to land on 6 September 2019.

The orbiter is operational, collecting scientific data, and is expected to function for 7.5 years.

Chandrayaan-2 did not yield expected results as the lander hard-landed, dashing India's hopes to successfully land on the Moon.

Recently, First set of data from Chandrayaan-2 mission was released for wider public use through the PRADAN portal hosted by Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC).

In Sep, 2021 - Lunar Science Workshop 2021 was inaugurated to commemorate the completion of two years of operation of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft around the lunar orbit.

The eight payloads onboard Chandrayaan-2 are conducting scientific observations of the Moon by remote sensing and in-situ techniques.


Chandrayaan-3, under which ISRO aims to land a rover on the satellite, has been delayed due to the coronavirus-induced pandemic and is now likely to lift off in 2022.

It would be a re-attempt to demonstrate the landing capabilities needed for the Lunar Polar Exploration Mission (LUPEX) proposed in partnership with Japan for 2024.

This mission would not include an orbiter and would have a lander, rover, and a propulsion module, it would land in the same area as the second one.

Lunar Polar Exploration mission (LUPEX)

The Lunar Polar Exploration mission (LUPEX) is a robotic lunar mission concept by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that would send a lunar rover and lander to explore the south pole region of the Moon in 2024.

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