This paper reports the development of a millimeter-wave space-borne atmospheric Temperature Sounding Unit (TSU) in Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). This is ISRO’s first leap towards millimeter-wave technology. The sensor has several new accomplishments to its credit which include among others, the philosophy of sounding channel selection, the new assortment of temperature sounding channels, simultaneous observation of both polarizations of all channels, compact dual-band scanning Gregorian reflector antenna, indigenously developed black-body target for in-orbit calibration, in-house developed millimeter-wave RF front-end and pre-detection automatic gain control method. The prime feature of this instrument is its unique set of channels which can profile the earth’s atmosphere from surface to 40 km altitude with vertical resolution ranging from less than a km near surface to ±2.5 km at 30km altitude. The channels are predominantly off-resonant frequencies in the 50―60 GHz O2 absorption spectrum which offer near-uniform attenuation and hence more channel-bandwidth and better temperature sensitivity and yet have adequate overlap of their weighting functions to achieve the desired vertical resolution. These channels are different and have fewer bands from what has been flown in all earlier sounding missions worldwide e.g. AMSU-A, SSMIS, ATMS etc. The TSU radiometer has been characterized thoroughly using ingenious methods such as low-power active RF energizing along with frequency sweep. This is a compact, low-mass, low-power instrument and has been configured for the ISRO mini-satellite (IMS-2) bus. The flight model with improved hardware performance is being built and a suitable opportunity of flying it is being explored.