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Chandrayaan 2



Chandrayaan 2 is an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) mission comprising an orbiter and a soft lander carrying a rover, scheduled to launch to the Moon in July 2019. The primary objective of Chandrayaan 2 is to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface. Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.

Spacecraft and Subsystems

The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter is a box-shaped craft with an orbital mass of 2379 kg and solar arrays capable of generating 1000 W power. The orbiter communicates with the Indian Deep Space Network and the lander. The orbiter will have a scientific payload comprising a visible terrain mapping camera, a neutral mass spectrometer, a synthetic aperture radar, a near infrared spectrometer, a radio occultation experiment, a soft X-ray spectrometer and solar X-ray monitor.

Vikram Lander

The lander, named Vikram, is a truncated pyramid built around a cylindrical propellant tank. It has a mass of 1471 kg (including the rover), and can generate 650 W of solar power stored in a lithium-ion battery. Landing propulsion is provided by 800 N liquid propellant engines. The lander can communicate directly to the Indian Deep Space Network, the orbiter, and the rover. Vikram carries a camera and four instruments. The Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA) experiment measures the lunar near-surface plasma environment and comprises a Langmuir probe and a Dual Frequency Radio Science experiment. Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) is a temperature probe designed to measure the temperature gradient and thermal conductivity within the top 10 cm of the lunar regolith. The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) is a micromechanical (MEMS) seismometer built to measure moonquakes and impact generated tremors at the landing site. The Laser Reflector Array (LRA) is a set of mirrors designed to reflect laser pulses shot from lunar orbit back to their source to precisely measure distances between a spacecraft and the surface.

Pragyan Rover

The rover, Pragyan (or Pragyaan), is a 6-wheeled vehicle with a rocker bogie design based on the NASA Sojourner Rover. It has a mass of 27 kg, runs on 50 W of solar power and can travel up to 500 m at a speed of 1 cm per second. The rover communicates directly with the lander. It has two navigation cameras to supply stereo images. It also has two experiments. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectroscope (APXS) uses a 241Am alpha particle source to induce X-rays in surface materials, which are measured by an X-ray detector to determine compositional elements from Na to Br. The Laser Induced breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS), a laser-induced ablation spectrometer that uses a nanosecond pulse laser to vaporize material from 20 cm distance and a linear-ccd spectrograph to determine the composition. Pragyan, stowed in the Vikram lander, was to be deployed after touchdown.

Mission Profile

Chandrayaan 2 was launched on 22 July 2019 at 9:13 UT (2:43 p.m. Indian Standard Time) from Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island on an ISRO Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III. The lander-orbiter pair went into an initial elliptical (170 x 40400 km altitude) Earth parking orbit, followed by a trans-lunar injection on 14 August. The pair entered lunar polar orbit on 20 August. The lander and orbiter separated on September 2. The orbiter evolved into a 100 km altitude circular polar orbit and the Vikram lander maneuvered into a 30 x 100 km orbit with a plan to land on the surface in the high latitude areas near the south pole, between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, on 7 September between about 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. Indian local time (Sept. 6, 20:00-21:00 UT).

Contact was lost during the lander descent at an altitude of about 2.1 km, the lander crashed on the surface at 70.881 S, 22.784 E, and apparently remained in one piece, but communications and operations were impossible. The rover was to be deployed using a ramp shortly after landing. The lander and rover portions of the mission were planned for 14-15 days, one period of lunar daylight. The orbiter was designed for a mission life of one year but continues to operate.

Spacecraft image credit ISRO

Alternate Names

  • Chandrayaan2
  • 44441

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2019-07-22
Launch Vehicle: LVM 3
Launch Site: Sriharikota, India
Mass: 3850 kg
Nominal Power: 1000 W

Funding Agency

  • Indian Space Research Organization (India)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Chandrayaan 1
Chandrayaan 2
Chandrayaan 3

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Moon Page
Moon Fact Sheet

LVM3 M4 vehicle successfully launched Chandrayaan-3 into orbit (ISRO, 14 July 2023)
Update on Chandrayaan 2 (ISRO, 19 September 2019)
Update on Chandrayaan 2 (ISRO, 7 September 2019)
PSLV-C11 Successfully Launches Chandrayaan-1 (ISRO Press Release, 22 October 2008)
NASA Selects Moon Mapper to Compete to Fly on Chandrayaan-1 (NASA Press Release, 2 February 2005)

Chandrayaan 1 Chandrayaan 1 Chandrayaan 2 Chandrayaan 2 Chandrayaan 3 Chandrayaan 3

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