Business Standard

Chandrayaan 2's journey from ideation to the cusp of landing: A timeline

The India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 has gone through a long journey dotted with many events in close to 12 years since being conceived in 2007

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

GSLV-MkIII-M1 rocket carrying Chandrayaan-2 lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh | Photo: ISRO
File photo: GSLV-MkIII-M1 rocket carrying Chandrayaan-2 lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh | Photo: ISRO

is about to begin its final descent to pull off a historic soft landing on the lunar surface.

The India's second has gone through a long journey dotted with many events in close to 12 years since being conceived in 2007.

Starting from Chandrayaan 1, here's a list of all the major events that led to where it is today:

April 2003

Over 100 eminent Indian scientists in the fields of planetary and space sciences, Earth sciences, physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics and engineering and communication sciences discuss and approve the Task Force recommendation to launch a probe to the moon.

August 15, 2003

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announces the Chandrayaan mission during his Independence Day speech.

November 2003

The government gives its approval for the

October 22, 2008

launched successfully from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota using four-stage PSLV rocket.

November 26, 2008

The indigenous Terrain Mapping Camera, which was first activated on October 29, 2008, acquires images of peaks and craters. This comes as a surprise to officials because the Moon consists mostly of craters.

ALSO READ: How Chandrayaan-2's lander Vikram will soft-land on the Moon? Isro explains

March 25, 2009

beams back its first images of the earth in its entirety.

January 2009

announces in January 2009 the completion of the mapping of the Apollo Moon missions landing sites by the orbiter, using multiple payloads. Six of the sites have been mapped including landing sites of Apollo 15 and Apollo 17.

January 29, 2009

Scientists from India, Europe, and the US conduct a high-level review of after the spacecraft completed its first 100 days in space.

August 28, 2009 - end of the Chandrayaan-1 mission

The mission was expected to operate for two years. However, communication with the spacecraft was suddenly lost. The probe had operated for 312 days. The craft had been expected to remain in orbit for approximately another 1000 days and to crash into the lunar surface in late 2012, although in 2016 it was found to still be in orbit.

November 12, 2007

Representatives of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and sign an agreement for the two agencies to work together on the project.

September 18, 2008

Government approves the mission to the moon in a meeting chaired by the then PM Manmohan Singh.

August 2009

Isro and Roscosmos complete the design of Chandrayaan-2 and it is reviewed by India and Russia.

ALSO READ: After Chandrayaan-2, Isro plans mission for studying Sun's corona next year


India decides to go it alone in the mission after Russia informed of its inability to provide the lander even by 2015. The project is rescheduled to 2016.


The spacecraft's launch had been scheduled for March 2018, but was delayed to conduct further tests on the vehicle. On 19 June 2018, after the program's fourth Comprehensive Technical Review meeting, a number of changes in configuration and landing sequence were planned for implementation, pushing the launch to the first half of 2019.

June 29, 2019

After completion of all tests, rover integrated with lander Vikram.

July 2, 2019

— Equipment bay camera cowling assembly completed

— Radio frequency checks completed with Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft

— Payload fairing assembly in progress

July 4, 2019

Integration of encapsulated assembly of Chandrayaan-2 with launch vehicle completed.

July 7, 2019

— GSLV MkIII-M1 moved to launch pad.

— Spacecraft is powered and health check in progress

July 10, 2019

— Shroud final assembly completed

— Cryogenic stage (C25) On Board Elementary checks completed

— Liquid stage (L110) control system checks completed

July 12, 2019

— Launch rehearsal completed

— Pre fill pressurisation of propellant tanks completed

July 15, 2019

Chandrayaan-2 was scheduled to be launched, but it was put off due to technical snag.

July 22, 2019

India successfully launches Chandrayaan 2 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

July 24, 2019

First orbit raising manoeuvre performed successfully.

August 2, 2019

Fouth orbit raising manoeuvre successful

August 4, 2019

ISRO releases first set of earth pictures captured by Chandrayaan-2

August 14, 2019

Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth's orbit

August 20, 2019

Chandrayaan 2 successfully enters orbit around Moon

August 21, 2019

ISRO performs 2nd lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre

August 22, 2019

ISRO releases first Moon image captured by Chandrayaan-2

September 1, 2019

Fifth lunar maneuver executed

September 3, 2019

First de-orbiting manoeuvre performed for Chandrayaan-2

September 4, 2019

Chandrayaan-2's second de-orbiting manoeuvre executed

September 7, 2019

The Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to land on the lunar surface at 1:55 am on Saturday

First Published: Fri, September 06 2019. 12:09 IST