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Business News/ Science / News/  Chandrayaan-3 vs Russia's Luna-25 race to the moon: here's who will claim the south pole position 1st
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Chandrayaan-3 vs Russia's Luna-25 race to the moon: here's who will claim the south pole position 1st

Russia launches lunar spacecraft, potentially beating India's Chandrayaan-3 to the Moon's surface.

A view of the Moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-3 lander during Lunar Orbit Insertion on 5 August in this screen grab from a video released by Isro.Premium
A view of the Moon as viewed by the Chandrayaan-3 lander during Lunar Orbit Insertion on 5 August in this screen grab from a video released by Isro.

Russia launched its first lunar landing spacecraft after 47 years on 11 August. This mission comes as the landing date for India's Chandrayaan-3 approaches. The timeline of their landing on the Moon's surface could match or could even narrowly beat Chandrayaan-3. 

Check all the latest updates on Chandrayaan-3 here

As per the latest update, ISRO said the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft moved closer to the Moon's surface on Wednesday after it underwent another orbit reduction maneuver. "Even closer to the moon’s surface. Chandrayaan-3's orbit is reduced to 174 km x 1437 km following a maneuver performed today," ISRO said in a tweet on X.

Rough terrain on the Moon makes a landing difficult, but the south pole is a prized destination because scientists believe that it could hold significant quantities of ice which could be used to extract fuel and oxygen, as well as for drinking water.

When will Russia's Luna-25 land on the Moon?

The launch from Russia's spaceport, Vostochny cosmodrome, 3,450 miles (5,550 km) east of Moscow is set to take four weeks after India sent up its Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander which is due to touch down at the pole on 23 August. 

The Russian space agency Roscosmos has told Reuters that its Luna-25 spacecraft would take five days to fly to the moon and then spend five to seven days in lunar orbit before descending on one of three possible landing sites near the pole.

Also Read: Chandrayaan-3 Enters Lunar Orbit, First Images of Moon Shared by ISRO; See here

Earlier on 8 August, ISRO chairman S Somanath said that Vikram, the lander of India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, will be able to make a soft landing on the Moon's surface on August 23 even if all the sensors and two of its engines do not work. During a talk on ‘Chandrayaan-3: Bharat’s Pride Space Mission’ which was hosted by the non-profit organisation, he said, “ The entire design of the lander ‘Vikram’ has been made in a manner that makes sure that it would be able to handle failures," as quoted by PTI. 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday said the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle, which lifted off successfully with the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, underwent a planned orbit reduction manoeuvre, bringing it closer to the moon.

Roscosmos says two missions would not get in each other's way

Roscosmos has said that the two missions would not get in each other's way because they have different landing areas planned, Reuters has reported. "There is no danger that they interfere with each other or collide. There is enough space for everyone on the moon," it said as quoted by Reuters.

India's Chandrayaan-3 is due to run experiments for two weeks while Luna-25 will work on the moon for a year. With a mass of 1.8 tons and carrying 31 kg (68 pounds) of scientific equipment, Luna-25 will use a scoop to take rock samples from a depth of up to 15 cm (6 inches) to test for the presence of frozen water that could support human life, as reported by Reuters.

The launch of Luna-25 was originally planned for October 2021, but was delayed by nearly two years. Earlier, The European Space Agency (ESA) had planned to test its Pilot-D navigation camera by attaching it to Luna-25, however, it broke off its ties to the project after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

Ahead of the launch, the residents of the village of Shakhtinsky in the far-eastern region of Khabarovsk will be evacuated from their homes at 7.30 am on Friday as of a "one in a million chance" that one of the rocket stages that launches Luna-25 could fall to earth there, reports have stated. Moreover, hunters and fishermen in the region have also been warned. 

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI)

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Published: 09 Aug 2023, 07:10 AM IST
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