Chandrayaan 3 & Russia’s Luna 25 head to competition for Lunar South Pole

India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is swiftly advancing towards the unchartered southern pole of the Moon, Russia’s Luna-25 is supposed to achieve the initial landing only two days ahead of the Indian mission’s touchdown.

India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is swiftly advancing towards the unchartered southern pole of the Moon, Russia’s Luna-25 is supposed to achieve the initial landing only two days ahead of the Indian mission’s touchdown. Mainly Russia’s Luna 25 is all set to land the on August 21st.The unexplored southern region is thought to contain water ice which could be used for future moon missions or in the formation of a lunar colony.

Even though Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the Chandrayaan-3 on July 11, Russia’s spacecraft had already started a more direct course to the Moon on August 11 as it had already planned to create history by being the first ones. The landing for Chandrayaan-3 and Luna-25 are, however, scheduled just a few days apart. While Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to land on August 23-24, Luna-25 is scheduled for a touchdown on August 21. The rough terrain might poise as a hurdle during the landing on the lunar south pole. A prior attempt by Chandrayaan-2, India’s moon mission, crashed in 2019 near where the Chandrayaan-3 will attempt a more concise touchdown. The Luna-25 entered the moon’s orbit on Wednesday, the first Russian spacecraft to do so since 1976. It could be compared to the size of a small car, it will aim to operate for a year on the south pole, where scientists at NASA and other space agencies in recent years have detected traces of frozen water in the crooks and the craters of the moon. The Lander Module (LM) health of Chandrayaan 3 is normal. “LM successfully underwent a deboosting operation that reduced its orbit to 113 km x 157 km. The second deboosting operation is scheduled for August 20, 2023, around 0200 Hrs. IST,” tweeted ISRO.

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For the time being, the Russian spacecraft that had set on the Moon mission has produced its first results and they are being currently analysed. Luna-25 has also sent pictures of the Moon’s Zeeman crater – the third deepest in the moon’s southern hemisphere.