LUNA 25 (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Sci & Tech)

News-CRUX-10     21st August 2023        
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Context: Russia's lunar hopes have been dashed as the Luna-25 probe, the country's first Moon mission in nearly half a century, crashed on the lunar surface during pre-landing manoeuvres.

  • Russia's failed lunar mission also coincides with India's competing space probe, Chandrayaan-3 entering the Moon's orbit earlier in August. 
  • Like Luna-25, Chandrayaan-3's lander Vikram also aims to land on the south pole.
  • If India achieves the landing as intended, it will join the coveted list of countries such as Russia, the United States and China to have previously achieved a controlled landing and will be the first to land on Moon's south pole.

Luna-25

  • A Soyuz 2.1v rocket carrying the Luna-25 craft blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome, 5,550 kilometers east of Moscow, on August 11.
    • As per Russia’s Space chief, the lander is expected to touch down on the moon on August 21.
  • India’s mission to the moon cannot land before August 23, when it will be lunar dawn at the landing site.
  • Luna-25, roughly the size of a small car, will aim to operate for a year on the moon's south pole.
  • Luna-25 was launched aboard its Soyuz rocket almost a month after the launch of Chandrayaan-3 (on July 14).
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