The Indian Lunar Exploration Programme (Sanskrit: चन्द्रयान Chandrayāna, lit: Moon vehicle[1][2] About this sound pronunciation ), also known as the Chandrayaan programme, is an ongoing series of outer space missions by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The programme incorporates a lunar orbiter and future lunar lander & rover spacecraft.

Programme structure

The Chandrayaan (Indian Lunar Exploration Programme) programme is a multiple mission programme; as of mid-2016 only one orbiter has been sent to the Moon, using ISRO's workhorse PSLV rocket. The second spacecraft is being readied for a late 2016-early 2017 launch using the GSLV rocket.

Phase I: Orbital missions

The first phase includes the launch of the first lunar orbiters.

  • Chandrayaan-1, launched on 22 October 2008 aboard a PSLV-XL rocket, was a big success for ISRO as the Moon Impact Probe, a payload on board the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, discovered water on the Moon. Apart from discovering water the Chandrayaan-1 mission performed several other tasks such as mapping and atmospheric profiling of the Moon.

Phase II: Soft landers/rovers

The second phase, under preparation as of 2018, will incorporate spacecraft capable of soft-landing on the Moon and will also deploy a robotic rover on the lunar surface.


  1. ^ "chandra". Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "yaana". Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 5 November 2008.