It all started in October 2008 when the Indian Space Research Organisation launched the first Indian lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 under the Chandrayaan programme. It operated until August 2009. The operation included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. They launched the spacecraft using a rocket named PSLV-XL on 22 October 2008 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, located at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. India surveyed to develop the technology to explore the Moon and it proved to be successful to India’s space program. Lunar orbit was inserted with a vehicle on 8 November 2008. The Mission duration was designed for 2 years and it lasted for the final 10 months and 6 days. The last contact with lunar on 28 August 2009, ended the mission. The Moon Impact Probe separated from the Chandrayaan orbiter On 14 November 2008. It knocked the south pole in an undisturbed manner.ISRO became the fifth national space agency to step on the surface of the lunar.Chandrayaan-1 stopped conveying at about 20:00 UTC on 28 August 2009, after which the ISRO officially announced that the mission was ended. The mission was a significant growth to India’s space program. The vision of an Indian scientific mission to the Moon was first put forward in 1999 at a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Scientists from all over India including Europe, and the U.S. executed a high-level study of Chandrayaan-1 on 29 January 2009 after the spacecraft finished its first 100 days in space.ISRO declared on 25 November 2008 that Chandrayaan-1’s temperature had increased above normal to 50 °C. Scientists said that it was generated by higher-than-usual temperatures in the lunar orbit. The temperature was got down by about 10 °C by pivoting the spacecraft about 20 degrees and shutting down some of the instruments. The orbiter started encountering several technical problems including failure of the star tracker and inadequate thermal shielding.ISRO started planning and developing future lunar missions, including Chandrayaan-2, with the lessons learned from Chandrayaan-1 to ensure success in its next lunar endeavour.
Chandrayaan-2 was a more ambitious mission compared to Chandrayaan-1. It aimed to land a rover on the lunar surface, specifically near the south pole, an area that had not been explored extensively before. The mission had multiple objectives, including studying the lunar topography, mineralogy, exosphere, and the presence of water ice. The mission consisted of three main components: the orbiter, the lander called Vikram, and the rover named Pragyan. The orbiter, which continues to orbit the Moon, carries a suite of eight scientific instruments to study the lunar surface, map its mineral composition, examine the atmosphere, and search for water molecules. Vikram, the lander, was designed to make a controlled descent and soft landing on the lunar surface. It carried three scientific payloads to study the lunar surface’s thermo-physical characteristics and the presence of water ice. The lander was also equipped with a seismometer to study moonquakes and gather information about the Moon’s interior. The Pragyan rover, housed inside the lander, was designed to traverse the lunar surface and conduct various experiments. It carried instruments to study the elemental composition of the lunar surface, examine the presence of water molecules, and analyze the Moon’s crustal properties. Unfortunately, during the final stages of descent on September 7, 2019, communication was lost with the lander, and its status and location on the lunar surface remain unknown. Despite this setback, the orbiter continues to function and relay valuable data back to Earth.
Chandrayaan-2 represented a significant technological advancement for ISRO. It demonstrated the country’s capabilities in developing and executing complex space missions, particularly in the area of lunar exploration. The mission also showcased India’s commitment to space exploration and its contribution to global scientific knowledge. While the mission did not achieve its desired objective of a successful soft landing, it is regarded as a stepping stone for future missions and has provided valuable insights into the Moon’s geology and potential for resources.
Chandrayaan-3 is the recent lunar mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is the successor to Chandrayaan-2 and is being planned as a follow-up mission to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface. The primary objective of Chandrayaan-3 is to demonstrate India’s capability to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon’s surface and operate a rover. The mission also aims to conduct scientific experiments and gather valuable data about the Moon’s surface and its composition. Chandrayaan-3 will focus on studying the south pole region of the Moon, which is believed to have water ice deposits.ISRO has stated that they have learned crucial lessons from the Chandrayaan-2 mission and are making refinements to ensure the success of Chandrayaan-3. The mission will utilize the same orbiter developed for Chandrayaan-2, as it continues to function and provide valuable data. However, a new lander and rover will be developed for the mission.
Chandrayaan-3 represents India’s determination to continue exploring the lunar surface and expand our understanding of the Moon. The mission will contribute to the scientific knowledge about the Moon’s geology, atmosphere, and potential resources. It also showcases India’s commitment to space exploration and its growing presence in the global space community.