Why in News?-

  • Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, recently launched the Luna-25 mission to the Moon, while India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched earlier.
  • Luna-25 was launched from Russia’s Vostochny spaceport on August 11, 2023, and its lunar lander is expected to reach the Moon on August 23, the same day Chandrayaan-3 is also scheduled to land on the lunar surface.
  • Both missions are expected to land on the lunar surface around the same time.

Will it hamper Chandrayaan-3 mission?-

  • Roscosmos has stated that the two missions will not impede each other’s functions or collide, as they have different planned landing areas.
  • According to Roscosmos, there is enough space on the Moon for both missions to operate without interference.

Different Landing Areas and Stages of Luna-25 Mission

  • Roscosmos clarified that Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3 have distinct landing areas.
  • Luna-25’s landing on the Moon is planned in several stages.
  • The flight trajectory to the Moon will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes, followed by a five-day flight from Earth to the Moon.
  • Luna-25 is expected to stay in lunar orbit for five to seven days, depending on the selected landing area.
  • Three landing areas have been designated: the primary site north of the Boguslavsky crater, and two backup sites south of the Manzinus crater and the Pentland-A crater.

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 Mission and Lunar Exploration

  • India’s space agency, ISRO, plans for the Chandrayaan-3 lander and rover to touch down near the lunar South Pole region on August 23.
  • The mission aims to explore the Moon’s surface and contribute to lunar research.
  • As of July 2023, there were six active lunar orbiters, with China’s Yutu-2 rover being the only operating rover on the Moon’s far side.

Potential for Cooperation and Future Lunar Exploration

  • While Roscosmos has had no direct interaction with ISRO regarding the Luna-25 project, it remains open to potential cooperation between the two space agencies.
  • Roscosmos expressed interest in India’s participation in the International Scientific Lunar Station (ILRS), a planned lunar base pursued by Roscosmos and the Chinese space agency.
  • Additionally, Roscosmos is exploring the possibility of placing Russian scientific payloads on future Indian lunar exploration missions, indicating a potential avenue for collaboration in lunar research and exploration.

About Luna-25

CURRENT AFFAIRS – 12/08/2023

In Image: Representational image of main payload of Luna-25.

Mission Overview:

    • Luna 25, also known as Luna-Glob-Lander, is a Russian lunar lander mission.
    • Launched on August 10, 2023, with the target landing site being the Moon’s South Polar Region.

Scientific Objectives:Luna 25 has two primary scientific goals:

    • Study the composition of the polar regolith (lunar soil).
    • Study the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere (thin atmosphere).

Lander Features:

    • The lander consists of a four-legged base housing landing rockets and propellant tanks.
    • An upper compartment contains solar panels, communication equipment, onboard computers, heaters, radiators, and scientific instruments.
    • Equipped with a 1.6 meter-long Lunar Robotic Arm (LRA) for regolith collection.

Lunar Robotic Arm (LRA):

    • LRA can remove and collect surface regolith to depths of 20 to 30 cm.
    • The arm has four degrees of freedom/rotations: azimuthal, shoulder, elbow, and wrist/scoop.
    • It is equipped with a scoop and a sample acquisition tool for studying the lunar soil.

Science Instruments:Luna 25 carries eight science instruments, including:

    • ADRON-LR: Gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer.
    • ARIES-L: Detects charged particles and neutrals in the lunar exosphere.
    • LIS-TV-RPM: Infrared spectrometer for studying water and OH on the surface.
    • LASMA-LR: Mass spectrometer for analyzingregolith composition.
    • PML: Detector for studying dust in the lunar exosphere.
    • STS-L: Panoramic and local imaging system.
    • THERMO-L: Studies regolith thermal properties.
    • Laser retroreflector panel for precise measurements.

Launch and Lunar Operations:

    • Launched on a Soyuz-2 Fregat rocket from VostochnyCosmodrome.
    • Lander designed to operate on the Moon for about one year, studying regolith and exosphere.