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Luna 25 Crashes on Moon

Luna-25 crashes into lunar surface; all eyes on Chandrayaan-3 now

On Sunday afternoon, Roscosmos announced that Luna-25 had crash-landed on the Moon’s surface in a disappointing end to the mission. Meanwhile, Chandrayaan-3 is readying for its descent at around 5.45 pm IST on Wednesday.Luna 25

 Russia’s Luna-25 has crashed on the Moon’s surface, the country’s space agency said Sunday in a disappointing end to its first mission to the lunar surface 47 years after the last landing by the former Soviet Union.

This leaves India’s Chandrayaan-3 on course to become the first spacecraft to land near the lunar south pole.

On Sunday morning, the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module moved into its pre-landing orbit of 25 km x 134 km from the lunar surface, in preparation for its scheduled landing Wednesday.

 It is from this orbit that the spacecraft will begin its descent around 17:45 IST Wednesday. Touchdown is expected after 15 minutes.

The Indian Space Research Organization said Chandrayaan-3 was functioning normally and getting ready for its scheduled descent Wednesday, at the beginning of the lunar day-time that extends to about 14 days on Earth.

“The module would undergo internal checks and await the sunrise at the designated landing site (on the moon). The powered descent is expected to commence on August 23, 2023, around 1745 hours IST,” ISRO said.

Luna-25 was modern Russia’s first Moon mission. The erstwhile Soviet Union’s last lunar mission was way back in 1976, with a successful landing by Luna-24. In fact, that was the last spacecraft to land on the Moon, until China’s Chang’e-3 reached there 37 years later in 2013. Chang’e-4 and Chang’e-5 are the only other spacecraft to have landed on the Moon since then – Chang’e 4 touched down in January 2019 and Chang’e-5, a sample return mission, in December 2020.


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