ISRO’s upcoming space missions in 2022: From Chandrayaan-3 to Aditya L-1

Here’s everything you need to know about ISRO’s three major missions in 2022: Gaganyaan, Aditya L-1 and Chandrayaan-3

Here’s everything you need to know about ISRO’s three major missions in 2022: Gaganyaan, Aditya L-1 and Chandrayaan-3

The story so far: On May 13, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully tested the HS200 solid rocket booster, an integral part of its upcoming manned mission in space called Gaganyaan.

This rocket booster is used for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III), which will be part of the Gaganyaan mission. The successful completion of the test marks an important milestone for the manned spaceflight mission, as the first stage of the launch vehicle is tested for its performance throughout its duration, according to an ISRO statement.

ISRO’s upcoming missions this year focus on human spaceflight (Gaganyaan), studying the sun (Aditya L-1) and soft landing on the moon (Chandrayaan-3). In addition to these three missions, several satellite launches (both domestic and abroad) are scheduled by ISRO throughout the year.

ISRO’s three major missions in 2022:


India’s manned mission in space – gaganyan — is scheduled to begin operations in the second half of 2022. The project will demonstrate ISRO’s capability for manned spaceflight to low Earth orbit (LEO) and safe return to Earth. Gaganyaan includes two unmanned missions and one manned mission, as approved by the Center. The manned mission is expected to last seven days.

The mission will also lay the foundation for a sustainable Indian human space exploration program. With its manned space mission in 2023, India aims to become the fourth country to send people to space, after the US, Russia and China. India also plans to set up its own space station after the completion of Gaganyaan for research in fundamental, applied and engineering sciences.

In response to a parliamentary questionthe Center revealed that a new astronaut training center has been built in the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) – ISRO’s nerve center in Bengaluru.

Shortlisted astronauts are currently being trained for the mission. Furthermore, crew rescue rehearsals and detailed operational requirements for nominal missions have been completed. Conceptual designs for microgravity experiments are reviewed.

For the Gaganyaan mission, ISRO has developed new technologies domestically, including a human-assessed launch vehicle, crew escape systems, a habitable orbital module and a life support system. The design of all systems and subsystems has been completed and the realization of each system is in various stages of progress. Construction of the orbital module integration facility is nearing completion.

In August 2021, ISRO completed a long-term qualification test for the human-rated cryogenic engine and the first stage test of the Vikas engine for the core L110 liquid stage of the human-rated Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk-III) vehicle. With the completion of this test, the mission’s engine qualification requirements were successfully completed.

ISRO has also received input for the mission from Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of the Russian state space company Roscosmos, as well as from the French government’s National Center for Space Studies (CNES).

The entire Gaganyaan program is estimated to cost around Rs 9,023 crores. Apart from ISRO, the Indian Armed Forces, Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO), Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Shipping Corporation of India, National Institute of Oceanography, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Indian Meteorological Department, CSIR Labs and various academic institutes and industry partners are part of the project. While Gaganyaan’s unmanned flight was set to take place in 2021, the onset of COVID-19 pushed it through to 2022.

Aditya L-1:

India’s first mission to study the sun Aditya L-1 aims to place a 400 kg satellite in halo orbit around Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system in order to continuously view the Sun without any eclipse. While only one payload – the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) – was initially planned, the satellite will now carry six payloads to the halo orbit around L1, which is located 1.5 million km from Earth. .

Aditya L-1 payload

Aditya L-1 payload | Photo credit: ISRO

Aditya L-1 payloads include:

Coronagraph Visible Emission Line (VELC): VELC, developed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), will be concerned with imaging and studying the magnetic field and other parameters of the solar corona – the outer layers of the sun that extend thousands of kilometers above the disk (photosphere).

Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): Created by the Interuniversity Center for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA), the SUIT will image the spatially resolved photosphere and chromosphere of the sun in the ultraviolet (200-400 nm) band. It will also measure solar radiation and its variations.

Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): Designed and developed by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), the ASPEX will study the properties of solar wind, its distribution and its spectral characteristics.

Plasma Analyzer Package for Aditya (PAPA): Jointly developed by the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) and VSSC, the PAPA will analyze the composition of solar wind and its energy distribution.

Solar Energy Efficient X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): The SoLEXS, made by the ISRO Satellite Center (ISAC), will track X-ray bursts in the sun’s corona to study its heating mechanism.

High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): A joint venture of ISAC, Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO) and PRL, the HEL1OS will observe dynamic events in the solar corona and estimate the energy used to accelerate particles during eruptions, such as eruptions and coronal mass ejections.

Magnetometer: The magnetometer, which was jointly developed by ISAC and the Laboratory of Electro-optical Systems (LEOS), will measure the magnitude and nature of the interplanetary magnetic field — the Sun’s magnetic field that emanates from the solar corona and spans the solar system.

While this mission was supposed to be launched in 2019-2020, it has now been shifted to 2022.


ISRO plans to launch Chandrayaan-3 in a bid to “soft land” on the moon, after Chandrayaan-2 landed hard on the lunar surface in 2019.

The Center informed parliament that based on the teachings of Chandrayaan-2 and suggestions from a national-level committee, special tests of many hardware components have been successfully completed. Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to be launched in August 2022.

On July 22, 2019, the Chandrayaan-2 rocket was successfully launched containing the Vikram Lander and the Pragyan rover. The lander was set to “soft land” (i.e., an intact spacecraft landing on the lunar surface without crashing) on ​​Sept. 7, 2019, near the moon’s south pole, 71 degrees south of the equator and 22.8 degrees east. Two hours after landing, the hatch would open, lower the ramp, and roll out the rover. The six-wheel, solar-powered rover is designed to explore the southern lunar surface 500 meters at a time and send its results to the lander that would be in communication with the orbiting satellite (Chandrayaan). 1).

However, on September 7, 2019, after the Vikram Lander started its landing sequence, there was a large deviation in altitude and speed during the ‘pipe rupture’ phase. As the lander smoothly descended from 30 km to 2 km, it lost communication with ISRO’s Deep Space Antenna and fell to the surface of the moon – a hard landing. The crashed lander containing the rover was found by NASA on December 3, 2019.

Other satellite launches planned in 2022

While the three missions mentioned above are major projects for ISRO in 2022, the space agency also has several planned: satellite launches this year.

These include — two Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) missions, one commercial and one for the launch of the EOS-06 Earth Observation satellite; two development flights of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV); and one Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) mission to launch the NVS-01 navigation satellite.

ISRO also has a communications satellite mission (GSAT-24) and a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle – Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) mission planned – both for commercial customers.


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