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