Chandrayaan 1 — India marks the 11th anniversary of its first successful mission to the Moon

Chandrayaan 1 's PSLV-C11 rocket takes off from Sriharikota on 22 October 2008 ISRO


  • Chandrayaan 1, India's first mission to Moon, completes 11 years today.
  • The landmark mission set the stage for the Indian space program going forward.
  • The success of Chandrayaan 1 also marked India's prowess in developing its own technology.
Over a decade ago, India took its first steps towards the Moon off a small island on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. As most of the country slept soundly in their beds, Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) in Sriharikota rumbled as a 300-tonne rocket blasted into the skies.

As a new dawn folded out over India, a new dawn shone over its technological prowess as well.

And since the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has come a long way building on the path paved by Chandrayaan 1.

Here’s how Chandrayaan 1 set the tone for India’s space programme for the coming years:



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India indigenously developed the technology to send Chandrayaan 1 to the moon.

India indigenously developed the technology to send Chandrayaan 1 to the moon.

Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft undergoing pre-launch tests (Source: ISRO)

​Chandrayaan 1 made India the fourth country to place their flag insignia on the Moon’s surface, that too on a budget of $56 million (₹386 crore).

​Chandrayaan 1 made India the fourth country to place their flag insignia on the Moon’s surface, that too on a budget of $56 million (₹386 crore).

Chandrayaan 1's orbiter takes a picture of the moon (Source: ISRO)

The PSLV rocket that was used to launch Chandrayaan 1 was also used to launch India’s Mars mission — Mangalyaan.

The PSLV rocket that was used to launch Chandrayaan 1 was also used to launch India’s Mars mission — Mangalyaan.

Chandrayaan 1 is also famed for being the first to discover evidence of water on the moon with the help of NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper and its own Moon Impact Probe.

Chandrayaan 1 is also famed for being the first to discover evidence of water on the moon with the help of NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper and its own Moon Impact Probe.

Moon Impact Probe integration with Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft (Source: ISRO)

​Chandrayaan 1’s discovery of water on the moon instigated Chandrayaan 2’s mission to find just how much water is on the Moon and where it’s located.

​Chandrayaan 1’s discovery of water on the moon instigated Chandrayaan 2’s mission to find just how much water is on the Moon and where it’s located.

Chandrayaan 2's Pragyan rover mounted on the ramp projecting from out of the sides of Vikram lander (Source: ISRO)

​Chandrayaan 1 was a technology demonstration mission to show that India can reach the moon and had payloads on board from foreign space agencies. Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the moon, was entirely India — from the launch technology to the payloads.

​Chandrayaan 1 was a technology demonstration mission to show that India can reach the moon and had payloads on board from foreign space agencies. Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the moon, was entirely India — from the launch technology to the payloads.

Unloading PSLV-C11 strap-on from transporter at Vehicle Assembly Building (Source: ISRO)

​Chandrayaan 1 also made way for India to develop its heavy lift launch vehicle — the GSLV MkIII.​

​Chandrayaan 1 also made way for India to develop its heavy lift launch vehicle — the GSLV MkIII.​

GSLV Mk III-D2 (Source: ISRO)

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