How India’s Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-3 Stands Apart from Luna-25

Imagine two cool spaceships racing to the Moon: Chandrayaan 3 and Luna 25. They’re like cosmic explorers on an exciting mission! There’s a small space race going on right now. Two spacecraft, one Candrayaan -3 and the other Luna -25 are traveling to conquer the unexplored territory of the lunar South Pole, a destination that no spacecraft has dared to reach safely until now.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some important aspects of Chandrayaan-3 and Luna-25.

The Trip to the Moon: A Race Against Time

Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14th with a rover. It orbits Moon and lands softly around Aug 23rd after circling Earth and Moon. Takes 40 days from India to Moon’s South Pole. On the other hand, after almost 50 years, Russia sent Luna-25 to the Moon on August 11th using a Soyuz rocket. It will circle the Moon by August 16th and might softly land by August 21st, just before India’s Chandrayaan-3 at the Moon’s South Pole.

This has raised questions about why Luna-25, launching almost four weeks later than Chandrayaan-3, might land on the Moon first. The reason is their chosen routes and launch methods. Let’s dig in.

Chandrayaan-3 began its journey with a robust rocket, Launch Vehicle Mark-3. It took about 28 days to position its engine part around the Moon. This was achieved step by step, circling Earth, adjusting speed, and aligning with the Moon’s path. This method, while taking longer, uses rockets more efficiently, optimizing fuel efficiency and positioning for successful lunar insertion. On the other hand, Luna-25, a Russian spacecraft, is taking a more direct route, similar to a straight line, to potentially land on the Moon’s South Pole by August 21st. It follows a path similar to that of the Apollo missions.

This competition showcases how different countries employ intelligent ideas and plans for space exploration. Chandrayaan-3’s approach cleverly leverages Earth and Moon’s gravitational pull, gradually maneuvering it to lunar orbit. In contrast, Luna-25 opts for a more straightforward path, potentially leading to a quicker landing. However, Luna-25’s journey might end up taking a bit more time, potentially giving Chandrayaan-3 the opportunity to reach the Moon’s surface first. The strategy of proceeding cautiously and steadily might prove advantageous in ultimately winning this race.

Chandrayaan -3 orbit
Chandrayaan -3 orbit

Different Spaceship Styles: How Do They Look Like

Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3 have different types of landers. Luna-25’s lander looks like it has four legs and special rockets and tanks for landing. It also has a part on top with solar panels to get power from the Sun, tools to talk to Earth, computers, and science instruments.

Chandrayaan-3's moon-bound maneuvers
Chandrayaan-3’s moon-bound maneuvers

Chandrayaan-3, on the other hand, is made up of three parts. There’s a native lander module, which is like the main body. Then there’s a propulsion module, which helps it move around. And finally, there’s a rover, a small vehicle that can explore the Moon’s surface. This rover has tools to study and analyze what’s on the surface of the Moon.

What They Bring: Tools for Space Adventures

Chandrayaan-3 and Luna-25 have different tools to study the Moon. Chandrayaan-3’s lander has special gadgets like Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) and Langmuir Probe (LP). Its rover carries things like the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope. These tools help scientists understand what the Moon is made of and how its surface behaves.

Now, Luna-25 has even more tools, a total of eight! These include things like gamma-ray and neutron spectrometers, which can measure different types of energy from the Moon. There are also infrared spectrometers, which can tell us about heat, and mass spectrometers, which help identify elements. Luna-25 also has cameras that take pictures of the Moon up close. All of these tools help scientists do important research on the Moon’s characteristics and secrets.

Landing Locations: Where They’re Going

Chandrayaan-3 and Luna-25 are planning to land on different parts of the Moon. Chandrayaan-3 has chosen a specific place by using special Moon coordinates. It’s in the southern area of the Moon and is about as big as 4 kilometers by 2.4 kilometers.

Luna-25 has two options for where it might land. The main one is near the bottom of the Moon, close to the south pole. The other choice is a bit to the side, near a place called the Manzini crater, which is in the southwest part of the Moon. These are the spots they’re thinking of for their soft landings and to start their missions.

How Long They’ll Stay and What They’ll Do

Chandrayaan-3’s lander and rover are set to do their job for around two weeks in Earth time, which is equal to one day on the Moon. Now, Luna-25’s lander has bigger plans; it’s designed to keep working on the Moon for about a whole year. During this time, it will be busy studying things like the Moon’s surface rocks and really tiny particles around it. They’ll both learn about the Moon, but in different ways, like by looking at rocks and checking the air.

Scientific pursuits

Luna-25 is like a space scientist on a mission to study the Moon’s icy regions. It wants to understand the stuff that covers those areas and also check out the super-thin air around the Moon. This is kind of like what NASA is curious about too.

Now, Chandrayaan-3 has its own goals. It wants to show that it can gently land on the Moon and move its rover around. It’s also planning to do some science experiments right there on the Moon’s surface. This is all part of the plan by ISRO, the space group.

Rocket Rides: Super Space Taxis

Luna-25 is getting a ride to space on a rocket called Soyuz-2 Fregat. Meanwhile, Chandrayaan-3 chose a rocket called the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III M4 (LMV-III) to take it on a trip to the Moon’s South Pole. These are like special taxis that will help them reach their destinations in space.

Chandrayaan - 3 Launch
Chandrayaan – 3 Launch

Costs: How Much Money to Go to the Moon?

People from all over the world are praising ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 because it’s really good at spending money wisely and being dependable. The whole mission costs less than Rs 615 crore, which is much less than the budget for a regular big Hollywood space movie.

On the other hand, the Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS hasn’t told us how much Luna-25’s mission costs. But there was a delay of more than 2 years because another space group didn’t want to give them a special camera for the rover. This happened because of issues between countries.

 Who Wins the Moon Race: A Friendly Contest

ISRO and ROSCOSMOS, the space groups, have told everyone that there won’t be any clash between their missions in terms of landing and research areas. But people from India and Russia are really curious to see which rover reaches the Moon’s surface first, like a friendly contest. India and Russia are like close pals when it comes to money, defense, and diplomatic support. This friendly race between us will just make the dream of exploring space even bigger for all of us.

To wrap up our exploration of space, let’s think about Chandrayaan 3 and Luna 25. They’re like brave adventurers in a big space adventure, showing us how surprising and exciting space can be. While they rush to reach the Moon. These missions remind us that exploring space brings people from all over the world together, showing that there are no limits and we all share a sense of wonder about the universe. So, let’s give a cheer for these courageous space travelers and enjoy their thrilling race to the Moon!