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Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit: चन्द्रयान-२; Sanskrit: [tʃəndrəjaːn dʋi]; lit: Moon-vehicle[8][9] About this soundpronunciation ) is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1.[10] Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission is planned to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III).[5][6] It includes a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed by India.[11]

Mission typeLunar orbiter, lander, rover
OperatorIndian Space Research Organisation
Mission durationOrbiter: 1 year
Lander: ~15 days[1]
Rover: ~15 days[1]
Spacecraft properties
Launch massCombined: 3,877 kg (8,547 lb)[2][3]
Payload massOrbiter: 2,379 kg (5,245 lb)[2][3]
Lander:1,471 kg (3,243 lb)[2][3]
Rover: 27 kg (60 lb)[2][3]
Start of mission
Launch dateApril 2019 [4]
RocketGSLV Mk III[5][6]
Launch siteSatish Dhawan Space Centre
Lunar orbiter
Orbit parameters
Periapsis100 km (62 mi)[7]
Apoapsis100 km (62 mi)[7]

Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to launch in April 2019[4] and will attempt to soft land a lander and rover in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south. If successful, Chandrayaan-2 will be the second mission to land a rover near the lunar south pole.[12][13]

According to ISRO, this mission will use and test various new technologies and conduct new experiments.[14][15][16] The wheeled rover will move on the lunar surface and will perform on-site chemical analysis. The data will be relayed to Earth through the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which will piggyback on the same launch.[17][18]



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.[19] 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.[20] The design of the spacecraft was completed in August 2009, with scientists of both countries conducting a joint review.[21][22]

Although ISRO finalised the payload for Chandrayaan-2 per schedule,[23] the mission was postponed in January 2013[24] and rescheduled to 2016 because Russia was unable to develop the lander on time.[25][26] 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.[25] When Russia cited its inability to provide the lander even by 2015, India decided to develop the lunar mission independently.[24][27]

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.[28][29] 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 scheduled to April 2019.[4]


Orbiter and lander in stacked configuration with the rover inside the lander

The mission is planned to fly on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) with an approximate lift-off mass of 3,877 kg (8,547 lb) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island.[7][6][30] As of February 2018, the mission has an allocated cost of 800 crore (approximately US$125 million).[31]


The orbiter will orbit the Moon at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi).[32] The mission will carry five instruments on the orbiter. Three of them are new, while two others are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1. The approximate launch mass will be 2,379 kg (5,245 lb).[2][3][23][33] The Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) will conduct high-resolution observations of the landing site prior to separation of the lander from the orbiter.[32][1] Interfaces between the orbiter and its GSLV Mk II launch vehicle have been finalised.[34] The orbiter's structure was manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and delivered to ISRO Satellite Centre on 22 June 2015.[34][35]

Vikram landerEdit

Subsystem Quantity Mass (kg) Power (W)
INS[36] 1 20 100
Star tracker[36] 2 6 15
Altimeter[36] 2 1.5 8
Velocimeter[36] 2 1.5 8
Imaging sensor[36] 2 2 5

The mission's lander is called Vikram, named after Vikram Sarabhai (1919-1971) who is widely regarded as the father of the Indian space programme.[37]

The Vikram lander will detach from the orbiter and descend to a lunar orbit of 30 km × 100 km (19 mi × 62 mi) using its 800 N (180 lbf) liquid main engines. It will then perform a comprehensive check of all its on-board systems before attempting to land on the lunar surface. Unlike Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe, the Vikram lander will make a soft landing, deploy the rover, and perform some scientific activities for approximately 15 days. The approximate combined mass of the lander and rover is 1,471 kg (3,243 lb).[2][3] The preliminary configuration study of the lander was completed in 2013 by the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad.[24]

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.[30][38] 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 is expected to mitigate upward draft of lunar dust during the soft landing.[39]

Some associated technologies include a high resolution camera, navigation camera, hazard avoidance camera, an 800 N throttleable liquid main engine and attitude thrusters, altimeter, velocity meter, accelerometer, and the software needed to run these components.[1][32] The lander's main engine has successfully undergone a high altitude test for a duration of 513 seconds, and closed loop verification tests of the sensors, actuators and software were completed in 2016.[34] 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.[40]

Landing site[13] Latitude Longitude
SLS54 (prime site) 70.90267° S 22.78110° E
ALS01 (alternate site) 67.87406° S 18.46947° W


Artist impression of the rover

The rover's mass will be about 27 kg (60 lb) and will operate on solar power.[2][3] The rover will move on 6 wheels on the lunar surface, perform on-site chemical analysis and send the data to the orbiter above, which will relay it to the Earth station.[23][33]

The initial plan was for the rover to be designed in Russia and fabricated in India. However, after Russia proved unable to contribute to the mission,[24][25][26] ISRO decided on designing and fabricating the rover itself. IIT Kanpur is developing three subsystems to provide mobility:

  1. Stereoscopic camera-based 3D vision using two NAVCAMs in front of rover will provide the ground team controlling the rovers a 3D view of the surrounding terrain and help in path planning by generating a digital elevation model of the terrain.[41]
  2. Kinematic traction control - will enable the rover to negotiate the rough lunar terrain using independent steering provided on four of its wheels.
  3. Control and motor dynamics - The rover will have six wheels, each driven by an independent electric motor. Four of the wheels will also be capable of independent steering. A total of 10 electric motors will be used for traction and steering.


ISRO selected five scientific instruments for the orbiter, four for the lander,[42] and two for the rover.[23][43] While it was initially reported that NASA and ESA would participate in the mission by providing some scientific instruments for the orbiter,[44] ISRO has later clarified that due to weight restrictions it will not be carrying foreign payloads on this mission.[45]

Orbiter payload
Vikram lander payload
Rover payload

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Nair, Avinash (31 May 2015). "ISRO to deliver "eyes and ears" of Chandrayaan-2 by 2015-end". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "ISRO to send first Indian into Space by 2022 as announced by PM, says Dr Jitendra Singh". Indian Department of Space. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b c ISRO set for April launch of Chandrayaan-2 after missed deadline. Vikram Gopal, Hindustan Times. 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Kiran Kumar, Aluru Seelin (August 2015). Chandrayaan-2 - India's Second Moon Mission. Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  8. ^ "candra". Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  9. ^ "yaana". Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ Bagla, Pallava (4 August 2018). "India Slips in Lunar Race with Israel As Ambitious Mission Hits Delays". NDTV. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  12. ^ Bagla, Pallava (31 January 2018). "India plans tricky and unprecedented landing near moon's south pole". Science. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b Amitabh, S.; Srinivasan, T. P.; Suresh, K. (2018). Potential Landing Sites for Chandrayaan-2 Lander in Southern Hemisphere of Moon (PDF). 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 19-23 March 2018. The Woodlands, Texas. Bibcode:2018LPI....49.1975A. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 August 2018.
  14. ^ Mallikarjun, Y. (7 September 2007). "Chandrayaan-2 to be finalised in 6 months". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  15. ^ "Chandrayaan-II will try out new ideas, technologies". The Week. 7 September 2010. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Landing spots for Chandrayaan-2 identified". DNA India. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  17. ^ Subramanian, T. S. (4 January 2007). "ISRO plans Moon rover". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  18. ^ Rathinavel, T.; Singh, Jitendra (24 November 2016). "Question No. 1084: Deployment of Rover on Lunar Surface" (PDF). Rajya Sabha.
  19. ^ Chand, Manish (12 November 2007). "India, Russia to expand n-cooperation, defer Kudankulam deal". Nerve. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  20. ^ Sunderarajan, P. (19 September 2008). "Cabinet clears Chandrayaan-2". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  21. ^ "ISRO completes Chandrayaan-2 design". 17 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  22. ^ "India and Russia complete design of new lunar probe". Sputnik News. RIA Novosti. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Payloads for Chandrayaan-2 Mission Finalised" (Press release). Indian Space Research Organisation. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  24. ^ a b c d Ramachandran, R. (22 January 2013). "Chandrayaan-2: India to go it alone". The Hindu.
  25. ^ a b c Laxman, Srinivas (6 February 2012). "India's Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission Likely Delayed After Russian Probe Failure". Asian Scientist. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  26. ^ a b "India's next moon mission depends on Russia: ISRO chief". NDTV. Indo-Asian News Service. 9 September 2012.
  27. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 would be a lone mission by India without Russian tie-up". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 14 August 2013.
  28. ^ Clark, Stephen (15 August 2018). "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 16 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Chandrayaan-2 launch postponed to October: ISRO chief". The Economic Times. Press Trust of India. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  30. ^ a b Kumar, Chethan (12 August 2018). "Isro wants Chandrayaan-2 lander to orbit moon first". The Times of India. Times News Network. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  31. ^ Singh, Surendra (20 February 2018). "Chandrayaan-2 mission cheaper than Hollywood film Interstellar". The Times of India. Times News Network. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  32. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2014-2015" (PDF). Indian Space Research Organisation. December 2014. p. 82.
  33. ^ a b "Chandrayaan-2 to get closer to moon". The Economic Times. Times News Network. 2 September 2010. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011.
  34. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2015-2016" (PDF). Indian Space Research Organisation. December 2015. p. 89. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2016.
  35. ^ "HAL Delivers the Orbiter Craft Module Structure of Chandrayaan-2 to ISRO". Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. 22 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018.
  36. ^ a b c d e Rekha, A. R.; Shukkoor, A. Abdul; Mohanlal, P. P. (2011). Challenges in Navigation System design for Lunar Soft Landing (PDF). National Conference on Space Transportation Systems. 16-18 December 2011. Thiruvananthapuram, India. p. 2.
  37. ^ Kumar, Chethan (12 August 2018). "Chandrayaan-2 Lander to be named 'Vikram' after Sarabhai". The Times of India. Times News Network. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  38. ^ Mondal, Chinmoy; Chakrabarti, Subrata; Venkittaraman, D.; Manimaran, A. (2015). Development of a Proportional Flow Control Valve for the 800N Engine Test. 9th National Symposium and Exhibition on Aerospace and Related Mechanisms. January 2015. Bengaluru, India.
  39. ^ "ISRO developing vehicle to launch small satellites". Frontline. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  40. ^ D. S., Madhumathi (25 October 2016). "ISRO starts landing tests for Chandrayaan-2 mission". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  41. ^ Laha, Jayanta; Dinesh, B.; Selvaraj, P.; Krishnamoorthy, Subhalakshmi (2018). "Realization of Space Grade Miniature Digital Camera for Lunar Navigation" (PDF). International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. 118 (16): 1105–1116. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2018.
  42. ^ a b c Bagla, Pallava (31 January 2018). "India plans tricky and unprecedented landing near moon's south pole". Science. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  43. ^ Johnson, T. A. (31 August 2010). "Three new Indian payloads for Chandrayaan 2, decides ISRO". The Indian Express. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  44. ^ Beary, Habib (4 February 2010). "NASA and ESA to partner for Chandrayaan-2". Sakal Times. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  45. ^ Laxman, Srinivas (5 September 2010). "'We're launching Chandrayaan-2 for a total coverage of the moon'". The Times of India.
  46. ^ Mallikarjun, Y. (29 May 2013). "India plans to send seismometer to study moonquakes". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 June 2013.

External linksEdit