The idea was mooted during Indian Academy of Sciences in the year 1999 followed by discussions in the Astronautical Society of India in 2000.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has proved its mettle in space science, will conduct the mission.
The name Chandrayaan means (in Sanskrit) - Chandra (Moon) and Yaan (Vehicle) i.e. “Vehicle to Moon”.
It costs Rs 386 crore to the exchequer which include Rs 100 crore for the establishment of Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) at Byalalu in Karnataka which will also help in receiving radio signals transmitted by satellites in future too.
The duration of the mission is two years.
It is the first Indian unmanned lunar exploration mission by Indian Space Research Organisation.
It can be controlled from earth itself.
It contacts with scientist here in earth through the Deep Space Network - a back-end support system and spacecraft signal monitoring station.
The spacecraft will take five and half days to reach the orbit of the moon.
The spacecraft is cuboid in shape with sides measuring 1.50 m (approx).
It weighs 1304 kg at launch and 590 kg at lunar orbit (due to the difference in Gravity of Moon and Earth).
It will carry eleven science payloads - five Indian and three from European Space Agency, two of NASA and one from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
The Indian payloads are: The Terrain Mapping Camera (to make high-resolution map of the Moon); the Hyper Spectral Imager (HySI) to produce mineralogical mapping; the Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI) to create Moon’s surface topography; Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) to detect solar flux; High Energy X-ray/gamma ray spectrometer (HEX); a Moon Impact probe(MIP) carrying a high resolution mass spectrometer, an S-Band altimeter and a video camera.
The foreign payloads include: a Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer (SARA), Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a near infrared spectrometer (SIR-2), S-band miniSAR, Radiation Dose Monitor.
The spacecraft will generate power through a solar array, generating about 700 watts, which will be stored by batteries. During eclipse, these Lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries will feed the spacecraft.
The spacecraft has a X-band, 0.7m diameter parabolic antenna for data transmission.
The spacecraft has three Solid State Recorders (SSRs) on board to record data --
SSR-1 (32Gb data), SSR-2 (8Gb), M3 (Moon Mineralogy Mapper) with 10Gb capacity.
With Chandrayaan, India will join the elite space club comprising the US, Russia, European Space Agency, China and Japan by demonstrating its capability to explore moon with its own spacecraft and launch vehicle.