Monday, July 17, 2023

How is Chandrayaan 3 different from Chandrayaan 2?

Distinguishing Chandrayaan 3 from Chandrayaan 2:

A Comparative Analysis


Chandrayaan 2 and Chandrayaan 3 are two significant lunar missions undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as part of India's ambitious space exploration program. While both missions share the common goal of exploring the Moon, there are notable differences in their design, objectives, and technical specifications. In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between Chandrayaan 3 and Chandrayaan 2, highlighting the advancements, modifications, and lessons learned from the previous mission.

Mission Architecture:

One of the primary differences between Chandrayaan 2 and Chandrayaan 3 lies in their mission architecture. Chandrayaan 2 consisted of an orbiter, a lander (Vikram), and a rover (Pragyan). In contrast, Chandrayaan 3 is designed to have an orbiter and a lander-rover combination. This modification simplifies the mission's architecture and reduces its complexity, making it more streamlined and focused.

Landing and Rover Operations:

Chandrayaan 2's lander, Vikram, attempted a soft landing on the lunar surface in September 2019 but encountered a partial failure. Chandrayaan 3 aims to rectify the previous mission's shortcomings by refining the landing and rover operations. By incorporating lessons learned from Chandrayaan 2, Chandrayaan 3's lander and rover are expected to undergo further improvements to enhance their reliability, stability, and performance during the critical landing phase.

Scientific Objectives:

While the scientific objectives of both missions revolve around lunar exploration, there may be variations in their specific research goals and priorities. Chandrayaan 2 primarily focused on mapping the lunar surface, studying its topography, mineralogy, and the distribution of water ice. Chandrayaan 3, on the other hand, aims to build upon the achievements of its predecessor and delve deeper into the analysis of lunar geology, geophysics, and the presence of resources such as water and other volatiles.

Rover Capabilities:

Chandrayaan 2's rover, Pragyan, had a mass of around 27 kilograms and was equipped with scientific instruments to perform in-situ analysis of the lunar surface. While specific details about Chandrayaan 3's rover capabilities have not been officially disclosed, it is anticipated that the new rover will feature advancements in technology, instrumentation, and mobility. The rover's enhanced capabilities may allow for more extensive data collection, higher-resolution imaging, and improved analysis of the lunar environment.

Launch and Mission Timeline:

Chandrayaan 2 was launched on July 22, 2019, and its orbiter, lander, and rover successfully reached the Moon. However, the mission encountered challenges during the lander's descent, resulting in a partial failure. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Chandrayaan 3 had not been launched yet. It is important to refer to the latest updates from reliable sources or ISRO for the most up-to-date information on the launch schedule and mission timeline of Chandrayaan 3.

Technological Advancements:

Chandrayaan 3 aims to incorporate technological advancements that have emerged since the development of Chandrayaan 2. ISRO continually strives to improve its spacecraft design, onboard systems, and instrumentation capabilities. Chandrayaan 3 will leverage these advancements to enhance the mission's reliability, performance, and overall success rate. These technological upgrades may encompass improved communication systems, power management, navigation systems, and miniaturized scientific instruments.

Risk Mitigation and Lessons Learned:

The partial failure of Chandrayaan 2's landing attempt provided valuable insights and lessons for future missions, including Chandrayaan 3. ISRO has conducted an extensive analysis of the failures and shortcomings of Chandrayaan 2, enabling them to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to mitigate risks. Chandrayaan 3's mission design and operational procedures will incorporate the lessons learned from Chandrayaan 2 to increase the chances of a successful outcome.



Chandrayaan 3 and Chandrayaan 2 are two important chapters in India's lunar exploration journey. While both missions share the objective of exploring the Moon and expanding our knowledge of its surface and resources, there are notable differences between them. Chandrayaan 3 introduces advancements in mission architecture, landing and rover operations, scientific objectives, rover capabilities, technological enhancements, and risk mitigation based on the lessons learned from Chandrayaan 2. By leveraging these differences, Chandrayaan 3 aims to address the challenges encountered in its predecessor and pave the way for a successful lunar mission. As we eagerly await the launch of Chandrayaan 3, the anticipation for its achievements and contributions to lunar exploration continues to grow, solidifying India's position in the global space exploration community.

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