ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Nearing the launch of Chandrayaan-3 Mission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Chandrayaan 3

Mains level: Read the attached story


Central Idea

  • India’s upcoming moon exploration mission, Chandrayaan-3, is set to launch in mid-July.
  • In a significant decision, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to retain the names of the lander and rover from the previous mission, Chandrayaan-2.

Chandrayaan-3 Mission

  • Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 to demonstrate end-to-end capability in safe landing and roving on the lunar surface.
  • It consists of Lander and Rover configuration. It will be launched by LVM3 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • The propulsion module will carry the lander and rover configuration till 100 km lunar orbit.
  • The propulsion module has Spectro-polarimetry of Habitable Planet Earth (SHAPE) payload to study the spectral and Polari metric measurements of Earth from the lunar orbit.

Retaining the Names: A Tribute to Chandrayaan-2

  • ISRO Chairman confirmed that the names Vikram and Pragyan will be carried over to the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
  • This decision pays homage to the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 lunar adventure while symbolizing India’s commitment to its space exploration legacy.

Overcoming Past Challenges: Learning from Chandrayaan-2:

  • The Chandrayaan-2 mission faced setbacks when the lander-rover configuration, along with the payloads, was lost during a failed soft landing attempt.
  • Undeterred by the previous mission’s outcome, ISRO announced its plans for Chandrayaan-3, aiming for a successful lunar landing.

Mission Details: Exploring the Moon’s Surface and Atmosphere

  • Chandrayaan-3 will be launched aboard the LVM3 rocket from Sriharikota using a propulsion module.
  • The lander-rover configuration will be transported to a 100-km lunar orbit by the propulsion module.
  • The Vikram lander module will deploy Pragyan, which will conduct in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface.

[A] Scientific Payloads: Unravelling Lunar Mysteries

  1. Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA): Studying the moon’s ionosphere and atmosphere.
  2. Chandra’s Surface Thermo physical Experiment (ChaSTE): Analyzing the thermal characteristics of the lunar surface.
  3. Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA): Investigating seismic activities on the moon.
  4. LASER Retroreflector Array (LRA): Enabling precise measurements of the lunar distance.

[B] Rover Payloads

  1. Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS): Analyzing the elemental composition of the lunar surface.
  2. LASER Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS): Studying the elemental abundance and characteristics of lunar rocks.

[C] Propulsion Module Payload:

  • Spectro-polarimetry of HAbitable Planet Earth (SHAPE): Collecting data related to Earth’s habitability.


  • India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission signifies the nation’s determination to explore the moon further and overcome past challenges.
  • By retaining the names Vikram and Pragyan, ISRO honors its space program’s pioneers while embarking on a new lunar adventure.


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