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Reaching for the Moon: Russia's Luna-25 in race with ISRO's Chandrayaan-3

Roscosmos launched Lune-25 on Friday, and Isro launched Chandrayaan-3 on July 14, but what's common between the two missions, and why is it significant?

Isro's Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3) M4 rocket carrying 'Chandrayaan-3' lifts off from the launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, in Sriharikota, Friday. Photo: PTI

Isro's Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM3) M4 rocket carrying 'Chandrayaan-3' (Photo: PTI)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Russia's space agency Roscosmos on Friday launched Luna-25, its first lunar mission in 47 years. This comes less than a month after the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) launched Chandrayaan-3, its mission aimed at making a soft landing on the Moon.

Luna-25, launched from Russia's far east Vostochny launch, will take 5.5 days to reach the Moon. Then, for three to seven days, it will revolve at the height of 100 kilometres from the Moon. Then, it will make an attempt to land on the Boguslawsky crater area at the southern end of the Moon.

It will also make a soft landing on the Moon.

The main aim of Luna-25 will be to analyse soil samples and conduct long-term scientific research on the Moon's surface.

Chandrayaan-3, on the other hand, launched on July 14 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. It has already entered the lunar orbit on August 6. It will make an attempt to land between Manzinus C and Simpelius N craters on the south pole of the Moon.

Chandrayaan-3's main aim is to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the surface of the Moon, conduct rover operations on the Moon, and conduct on-site experiments on the lunar surface.

What's common between Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3?

Both countries will likely attempt to make a soft landing on the solar pole of the Moon on August 23. However,

Why is the first landing of Luna-25 or Chandrayaan-3 important?

If either of the missions succeeds before the other, it will be the first one to land on the lunar south pole in human history. Three countries have reached the Moon till now: the US, the erstwhile Soviet Union and China. But no country has landed on the south pole of the Moon yet.

Watch: First images of Moon as shared by Chandrayaan-3

Why is Luna-25 taking less time than Chandrayaan-3 to land?

Luna-25 will take less time to reach the Moon than Chandrayaan-3 because the latter is taking a longer route, taking advantage of the gravities of the Earth and the Moon. It will use less fuel for the mission but will take longer.

Luna-25, on the other hand, will use more fuel and push the rocket through the gravities to reach the Moon.

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First Published: Aug 11 2023 | 11:07 AM IST

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