Sunday, September 24

The launch of Luna-25 by Russia today may have resulted in a faster landing on the Moon’s surface than Chandrayaan-3.

A Soyuz rocket launched Luna-25, a robotic spacecraft of moderate size, into Earth’s orbit at n h rest in the remote eastern region of Russia on Friday (11 August) morning. This marks the first time since 1898 that manned lander has been sent to the moon by russian spaceflight.

After approximately 80 minutes of liftoff, Luna-25 was redirected to orbit the moon.

Its aim is to reach the moon, enter orbit on 16 August, and then attempt a surface landing, possibly by 21 August. This is two days ahead of India’s Chandrayaan-3, which is also set to land in the same area as well.

Many in India are curious as to why the Russian moon lander, launched almost four weeks after the Chandrayaan-3 mission, might have made it to the moon’s surface before its launch.

The launch of Chandrayaan-3 was initiated by ISRO’s heaviest rocket, Launch Vehicle Mark-3, which carried two solid strap-on boosters and released an orange plume that guided it through its short but impressive vertical climb.

The propulsion module has been in orbit around the Moon for over 28 days and several orbital manoeuvres.

Considering the distance between the Earth and the Moon, it may seem like a reasonable time to travel, but many previous missions have completed this mission in less time.

China’s Chang’e 2, launched in 2010, took only four days to travel between the Earth and the Moon, and also included its follow-up mission to the lunar surface, known as Chang’e 3.

The Columbia command module, which was part of Apollo-11, managed to reach the Moon with three astronauts in just over four days.

The short route to the Moon is not a new development for Russian lunar missions, as evidenced by Luna-25.

What is causing the delay in Chandrayaan-3?

The reason ISRO is unable to directly launch Chandrayaan-3 into the Moon is because it lacks enough rocket power compared to the Russians, Chinese, and Americans.

Translunar Injection (TLI) was the method used for Apollo missions, including Apollo 11 where the Saturn V launch vehicle propelled the Apollo spacecraft into Earth orbit first.

A powerful engine burn was executed from that point onward, causing the craft to follow a direct path towards the Moon. The spacecraft was then directed to the LTT through refueling of the Saturn rocket’s third stage for six minutes, similar to if you had been shot at lightning.

The direct route allowed NASA’s Apollo missions to reach the lunar surface in a matter of days.

The Luna-25 from Russia would also adopt a similar approach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *