The Indian Lunar Exploration Programme (Sanskrit: चन्द्रयान candrayāna, lit: Moon vehicle pronunciation (help·info)), also known as the Chandrayaan programme, is an ongoing series of outer space missions by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The programme incorporates a lunar orbiter and future lunar lander & rover spacecraft.
The Chandrayaan (Indian Lunar Exploration Programme) programme is a multiple mission programme; as of mid-2016 only one orbiter has been sent to the Moon, using ISRO's workhorse PSLV rocket. The second spacecraft is being readied for an early 2019 launch using the GSLV rocket.
Phase I: Orbital missions
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 landers/rovers
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.
- "chandra". Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
- "yaana". Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
- ISRO set for April launch of Chandrayaan-2 after missed deadline. Vikram Gopal, Hindustan Times. 11 January 2019.