The Indian Lunar Exploration Programme (Sanskrit: चन्द्रयान Chandrayāna, lit: Moon vehicle pronunciation (help·info)), 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.
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.
- Chandrayaan-2 is to be launched in the first quarter of 2018 aboard the heavy–duty GSLV Mk II rocket.