The Russian Luna-25 spacecraft has crashed. Now, if India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission is successful, it will become the first country to land on the South Pole of the Moon. Chandrayaan-3 will attempt to land on August 23 at 6:04 pm from an altitude of 25 km.
Chandrayaan-3’s second and final deboosting operation was completed late on Sunday at 1.50 pm. After this operation, the minimum distance of the lander from the Moon is 25 km and the maximum distance is 134 km. In deboosting, the spacecraft slows down.
ISRO Shared New Images of the South Pole of the Moon
Indian Space Research Organization i.e. ISRO has shared the images of the South Pole of the Moon. The image was taken on 19 August 2023 from the Lander Hazard Detection and Avoidance Camera (LHDAC) mounted on Chandrayaan-3. This camera will help the lander to find a safe landing area.
ISRO has shared some special images sent by Chandrayaan 3, in which you can see the surface of the moon.
Pragyan Rover Will Leave Footprints of Ashoka Pillar on the Moon
Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 Mission Project Director M. According to Annadurai, the Chandrayaan-3 lander will take 15 to 20 minutes to reach the lunar surface from an altitude of 25 km on the evening of August 23. This time is going to be the most critical.
After this, the six-wheeled Pragyan rover will come out of the Vikram lander through a ramp and run on the lunar surface on command from ISRO. Meanwhile, its wheels will leave imprints of India’s national symbol, the Ashoka Pillar, and ISRO’s logo on the lunar surface.
Why Did Russia’s Luna-25 Mission Fail?
- Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Sunday, August 20 that it lost contact with the spacecraft at 05:27 pm on Saturday.
- Luna-25 was commanded to enter the 18 km x 100 km pre-landing orbit at 04:30 pm on Saturday.
- Roscosmos said that the emergency was triggered because the thruster could not fire according to the spacecraft’s actual parameters.
- Preliminary analysis results showed that the spacecraft deviated from the parameters set from the calculations.
- The calculated value was higher than required. This caused the thrusters to fire longer and the spacecraft went into an off-design orbit.
- Luna-25 crashed on the Moon due to an off-design level. A specially formed interdepartmental commission will now look into the crash.
Luna-25 Was Launched on August 11
Luna-25 was launched on August 11 by a Soyuz 2.1B rocket from the Vostoni Cosmodrome. Luna-25 was launched from Earth orbit to the Moon on the same day. The spacecraft reached a 100 km orbit of the Moon on August 16 at 2:27 pm. Luna was scheduled to land on the South Pole of the Moon on August 21.
Russia Sent a Mission to the Moon After 47 Years
Russia sent its mission to the moon after 47 years. Earlier in 1976, it had sent the Luna-24 mission. Luna-24 returned safely to Earth with about 170 grams of lunar dust. While all lunar missions to date have reached the lunar equator, this was the first time a mission had landed at the moon’s south pole.
Luna Landing Before Chandrayaan-3
The Indian space agency ISRO launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission on 14 July 2023. It uses Earth’s gravity to reach the moon because it uses less fuel and costs less. This process saves fuel, but takes more time. That is why Chandrayaan is taking more time to reach the moon.
Luna-25 was to land near the Boguslavsky Crater of the Moon while Chandrayaan would land near the Manzinus U Crater. Its coordinates are 69.36˚S and 32.34˚E. The distance between these two craters is more than 100 km. Now, if the Chandrayaan-3 mission is successful, India will become the first country to land on the South Pole of the Moon.
What Was the Purpose of the Luna-25 Mission?
- Detecting the presence of ice by sampling lunar soil
- testing its latest soft-landing and other space technology
- A study of the physico-mechanical properties of soils at the South Pole
- A plasma-dust study to observe the effect of the solar wind
- A launching pad for exploring deep space and distant planets
Russia Wants to Build Its Own Base on the Moon
Russia’s Luna-25 mission was part of its program to build a fully automated base on the Moon. Roscosmos chief Yuri Borisov said three more Luna missions will be launched in 2027, 2028 and 2030. After this we will enter the next phase with China. In this phase, we will send a manned mission to the moon and also build a lunar base.
62 Out of 111 Lunar Missions Over the Past Seven Decades Were Successful
According to US space agency NASA’s database on moon missions, out of 111 lunar missions over the past seven decades, 62 were successful, 41 failed and eight were partial successes. Now the name of Luna-25 has also been added to the list of failures.
- The first mission to the Moon was launched by America on August 17, 1958 ‘Pioneer 0’. The mission was unsuccessful.
- In the same year i.e. 1958, USSR and USA launched six more lunar missions, but all failed.
- On 2 January 1959, the USSR’s Luna 1 was a partial success. This was the first ‘Moon flyby’ mission in history.
- Ranger 7, US Launched in July 1964, it was the first mission to take close-up photographs of the Moon.
- The first lunar soft landings and the first photographs of the lunar surface came from Luna 9, launched by the USSR in January 1966.
- About five months later, in May 1966, the US successfully launched a mission similar to Luna 9, named Surveyor-1.
- In July 1969, the Apollo 11 mission was the historic mission by which humans first set foot on the lunar surface.
- The Apollo 11 mission was led by Neil Armstrong. Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin also went to the moon with Armstrong.
Chandrayaan-3’s second and final deboosting operation was completed between Saturday and Sunday at 1.50 pm. After this operation, the minimum distance of the lander from the Moon is 25 km and the maximum distance is 134 km.