Russia Races India To The Moon

Russia’s Soyuz-2.1b rocket booster with a Fregat upper stage and the lunar landing spacecraft Luna-25 blasted off from a launchpad at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the country’s far eastern Amur region on Friday, August 11, 2023.

In a bid to be the first nation to make a soft landing on the lunar South Pole, Russia launched its Luna-25 a month later than India’s Chandrayaan-3 (July 14).

Luna-25 may land on the lunar surface earlier than Chandrayaan-3.

Luna-25 — which has a lift off mass of 1,750 kg compared to Chandrayaan-3’s 3,900 kg — will have a direct trajectory towards the moon.

Chandrayaan’s mission will last only one lunar day — 14 earth days — because it does not have a heating mechanism to keep its electronics safe from the extreme cold temperatures of a lunar night.

Luna-25’s mission will continue for a earth year as it has a heating mechanism along with a power source and solar panels.











Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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