Indian Space Station

Chandrayaan-I: Mission Summary

Chandrayaan: Mission Summary

Q: What is Chandrayaan?
A: Chandrayaan is the name of Indian Moon Mission. Chandrayaan-I is the first in this series. It is an unmanned mission.

Q: What does Chandrayaan mean?
A: In Sanskrit “Chandra” means moon and “yaan” mean craft or vehicle. So Chandrayaan literally means Moon-craft or Lunar-vehicle.

Q: Will this land on Moon?
A: Chandrayaan-I is an orbiter which will revolve around the moon in a circular orbit and take high resolution pictures of lunar surface. It will however carry a 30 kg probe that will penetrate the lunar surface


Q: How long will it take to reach the moon?
A: The journey to moon will take around 5 and a half day.

Q: How long will it revolve around the moon?
A: The mission will last over 2 years

Q: Which is the nodal agency for this mission?
A: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is spear heading this effort. Premier research institutes of India like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Raman Research Institute (Bangalore), Physical Research Laboratory are involved in developing various payloads that will be used onboard the spacecraft.

Q: How will it be launched?
A: ISRO will use a modified version of its very successful rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to launch Chandrayaan I

Q: When will it be launched?
A: Chandrayaan-I is scheduled for launched on 22nd October 2008, from Sriharikota on the eastern coast on India, with a window fixed between October 19 and October 28.

Q: How heavy or light is the satellite?
A: The remote sensing satellite will weigh 1304 kg. The initial orbit mass is 590 kg and the dry mass is 504 kg. The satellite will be cube shaped measuring 1.5 m on sides.


Q: How much will this mission cost?
A: The total mission cost is Rs. 380 Crore

Q: Are other countries partnering India in this mission?
A:  Yes. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA, European Space Agency (ESA) and Bulgarian Aerospace Agency are partnering India in this mission.

Q: What are the scientific payload on board Chandrayaan-I?
A: The scientific payload has a total mass of 90 kg and contains five Indian instruments and six foreign instruments. (

Indian Payloads:

  • TMC: Terrain Mapping stereo Camera (TMC) in the panchromatic band, having 5 m spatial resolution and 20 km swath
  • HySI: Hyper Spectral Imaging camera (HYSI) operating in 400-950nm band with a spectral resolution of 15nm and spatial resolution of 80m with a swath of 20km
  • LLRI: Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI) with height resolution of about 10m
  • HEX: High Energy X-ray spectrometer (HEX) using Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride (CdZnTe) detector in the 30-250 keV energy region with spatial resolution of 40km
  • MIP: Moon Impact Probe (MIP) as piggyback on the main orbiter of the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft which will impact on the surface of the moon


International Payloads:

  • C1XS: Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer (C1XS) through ESA -a collaboration between Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK and ISRO Satellite Centre, ISRO. Part of this payload is redesigned by ISRO to suit Chandrayaan-1 scientific objectives.
  • SIR-2: Near Infra Red spectrometer (SIR-2) from Max Plank Institute, Lindau, Germany through ESA
  • SARA: Sub KeV Atom Reflecting Analyser (SARA) through ESA, from Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Sweden and Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO. The Data Processing Unit of this payload/ experiment is designed and developed by ISRO, while Swedish Institute of Space Physics develops the payload.
  • RADOM: Radiation Dose Monitor Experiment (RADOM) from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • MiniSAR: Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (MiniSAR) from Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University and Naval Air Warfare Centre, USA through NASA
  • M3: Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) from Brown University and Jet Propulsion.

Q: Are there plans to launch Chandrayaan-II?
A: Yes. Chandrayaan-II will have a rover that will land on Moon’s surface and conduct experiments. The results will be relayed to the orbiter which will transmit then to earth. This will be launched in 2010-11 timeframe.

Posted by
Udaykant Pande

Add comment

Security code