Explained: ISRO’s 3 Key Space Missions Before Chandrayaan-3


Explained: ISRO's 3 Key Space Missions Before Chandrayaan-3

Latest iteration of the Chandrayaan comes four years after an earlier attempt (Representational)

New Delhi:

India is set to create history as ISRO’s ambitious moon mission, Chandrayaan-3, will attempt a touchdown this evening. India will be the fourth country to land a rover on moon after Russia, United States and China.

Here’s a look at India’s previous landmark space missions –


Chandrayaan 1 was India’s first mission to the moon. It was launched in October 2008 with a planned mission life of two years. The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, US, UK, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.

It orbited the moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface, conducting chemical, mineralogical, and photo-geologic mapping of the moon.

In 2009, the spacecraft shifted to an orbit 200 km from the Moon after achieving major mission objectives. However, on August 29, 2009, Chandrayaan-1 lost communication.



Mangalyaan, or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), was India’s maiden mission to Mars. ISRO launched the spacecraft on November 5, 2013, and it successfully entered Mars orbit on September 23, 2014. The whole mission was launched on a shoestring budget, and even though the satellite was only designed for a six-month-long mission, it continued to offer its services for almost eight years.

The Mars mission was aimed at putting an orbiter around Mars. The orbiter carried five scientific payloads weighing about 15 kg. They collected data on surface geology, morphology, atmospheric processes, surface temperature, and the atmospheric escape process, as per ISRO.



The objective of Chandrayaan-2 mission was to take up a detailed study on understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon.

Chandrayaan-2 was to land a rover on the moon, but the lander Vikram lost contact with ground control during the final descent on September 7, 2019. The orbiter, however, is still in operation and is providing valuable data about the moon.

ISRO said the findings from Chandrayaan-2 provided an avenue to study surface-exosphere interaction on the moon.


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