Luna 25 vs Chandrayaan 3

TOPICS COVERED:

Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Context:

Russia’s Luna 25 could land on the moon days before Chandrayaan-3

Key details:

  • Luna-25 was launched almost a month after the launch of Chandrayaan-3.
  • It will reach before Chandrayan-3 because the Russian mission was able to follow a more direct trajectory towards the moon, owing to its lighter payload and more fuel storage.
  • The lift-off mass for Luna 25 is just 1,750 kg as compared with the 3,900 kg of Chandrayaan-3.

How do the missions differ?

  • Luna-25 does not carry a rover.
  • Chandrayaan-3 has a rover capable of moving around 500 metres.

Payloads:

  • The Russian lander has eight payloads mainly to study the soil composition, dust particles in the polar exosphere, and most importantly, detect surface water.
  • The Indian mission also has scientific instruments to study the lunar soil as well as water-ice.

About the lander:

  • The lander will carry four experiments on-board.
  • The Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA)
  • It will study these properties near the surface of the moon and how they change over time.
  • The Chandra’s Surface Thermo physical Experiment (ChaSTE) will study the thermal properties of the lunar surface near the polar region.
  • The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) will measure the lunar quakes near the landing site and study the composition of the moon’s crust and mantle.
  • The LASER Retroreflector Array (LRA) is a passive experiment sent by NASA on-board the mission.
  • LRAs are optical instruments that act as a target for lasers and can be used for very precise tracking by spacecrafts in the lunar orbit.
  • There are two scientific experiments on the rover.
  • The LASER Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) will determine the chemical and mineral composition of the lunar surface.
  • The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) will determine the composition of elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Potassium, Calcium, Titanium, and Iron in the lunar soil and rocks.

Time difference:

  • The main difference between the missions is that the India mission is built to last only one lunar day or 14 earth days.
  • This is because it does not have a heating mechanism to keep the electronics safe from the extreme cold temperatures during the lunar night.
  • The Russian mission, on the other hand, will work for a year, meaning it has heating mechanism as well as a power source other than just solar panels.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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