ISRO Unveils Ambitious Plan for Chandrayaan-4 Launch in Two Phases


Following the impressive success of Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for the upcoming lunar mission, Chandrayaan-4. According to ISRO chief S Somanath, this mission will comprise five distinct spacecraft modules, as revealed during the National Space Science Symposium.

In contrast, Chandrayaan-3 featured three primary components: a lander, rover, and propulsion module. Chandrayaan-4’s five spacecraft modules include the propulsion module, descender module, ascender module, transfer module, and re-entry module.

Somanath detailed that the Chandrayaan-4 lunar mission’s components will be launched in two phases. In the initial phase, the LVM-3 will launch the propulsion, descender, and ascender modules, mirroring the Chandrayaan-3 mission in 2023.

The subsequent phase will witness the launch of the transfer and re-entry modules aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This marks a significant milestone as it will be the first mission to utilize two launch vehicles for the completion of a single mission.

Chandrayaan-4 objectives:

ISRO’s mission to the Moon and back is designed to collect rock samples and other specimens from the lunar surface. The primary goal is safely transporting these samples back to Earth for in-depth scientific studies.

In addition to the sample retrieval, ISRO seeks to achieve several key milestones in lunar exploration. These include executing a secure and gentle landing on the lunar surface, containerizing lunar samples, ascending from the Moon’s surface, performing docking and undocking maneuvers in lunar orbit, facilitating the transfer of samples between different modules, and ultimately ensuring a safe return and re-entry to Earth for the delivery of the collected samples.

Chandrayaan-4 modules 

Similar to Chandrayaan-3, Chandrayaan-4 will be guided in lunar orbit by the propulsion module, which will later separate from the spacecraft. The descender will take over for the lunar landing.

After collecting and storing Moon samples, the ascender module will detach from the lander and initiate the return journey to Earth. Meanwhile, the transfer module will play a crucial role in removing the ascender module from the lunar orbit.

Additionally, the transfer module will return to Earth before the capsule carrying rock and soil samples detaches. The re-entry module will transport the loose, unconsolidated layer of rock and dust covering solid rock, landing on Earth after the return journey from the Moon.

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