Russia's Luna-25 Spacecraft Crashes on Moon After Uncontrolled Orbit

  • 22 Aug 2023

Recently, Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the Moon after losing control and entering an uncontrolled orbit, according to the Roscosmos space agency's announcement on August 20.

Key Points

  • Luna-25's Ambitious Mission: Luna-25, an unmanned spacecraft, aimed to become the first-ever vehicle to land on the Moon's south pole, a region believed to contain vital reserves of frozen water and valuable elements. Its scheduled landing date was August 21.
  • India's Chandrayaan-3 Mission: India's Chandrayaan-3, launched on July 14, also aspires to land in the Moon's south pole area. Its powered descent is set to commence at 5.45 pm IST on August 23.
  • Russia's Lunar Endeavors: Luna-25 marked Russia's first lunar mission since 1976 when it was part of the Soviet Union.
  • Success of Few Nations: Successful moon landings have been achieved by only three governments: the Soviet Union, the United States, and China.

Why It's a Big Blow to the World?

  • Exploring the Unexplored: Earth is planning to mount a major challenge against the Moon, sending humans not just to do research, but to stay in this uncharted world before pushing ahead to Mars. Luna-25 was going after an unexplored region of the moon, its south pole.
  • Significance of the Lunar South Pole: Scientists are particularly interested in the lunar south pole due to the belief that permanently shadowed polar craters may harbor frozen water within rocks, which could be converted into air and rocket fuel by future explorers.
  • Luna-25's Ambitious Year-Long Mission: This endeavor involved collecting samples from depths of nearly 15 centimeters below the lunar surface and conducting in-situ chemical analysis.
  • The potential discoveries held the promise of opening a new chapter in the fields of astrobiology and chemistry.
  • Implications Beyond Borders: Luna-25's findings had the potential to benefit these diverse lunar exploration endeavors, providing valuable insights into the lunar environment that could have far-reaching implications for the global scientific community.

India’s Rising Power in Space

  • Private Space Investment: India's space program, led by ISRO, has gained momentum with government policies aimed at encouraging private investment in space launches and satellite-based businesses.
  • Increased Start-Ups- This approach has led to a surge in space start-ups since 2020, indicating a growing interest in the commercial space sector within the country.
  • Commercial Space OperationsThe successful launch of its first privately developed rocket, Vikram-S, in November 2022 through Skyroot Aerospace's Prarambh mission is a testament to this.
  • Global Market Expansion: Indian officials have set ambitious goals for the country's space industry, aiming to increase its share of the global launch market fivefold within the next decade.
  • Rise in revenue: While India's share was 2 percent by revenue in 2020, this expansion plan underscores the nation's aspirations to play a more significant role in the space industry.
  • Specialization in Smaller Satellites: India has been focusing on launching smaller satellites, positioning itself as an ideal satellite launch facility.
  • Capturing the Niche: This niche market specialization allows India to cater to the growing demand for small satellite deployment globally.
  • International Collaborations: Signing the Artemis Accords with the US and planning joint missions, including one to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024, demonstrates India's commitment to global space exploration partnerships.
  • Bilateral Cooperation: During Prime Minister visit to the US, collaboration in space was a key point of discussion with US President. This signifies a willingness to deepen cooperation and leverage each other's strengths in space endeavors.
  • Private Sector Engagement: The memorandum of understanding between Voyager Space and ISRO reflects India's openness to working with private companies in the space sector.

India views space as a strategic asset and aims to be a pioneering player in the global space industry. The government's support and investment in the space sector align with this vision, emphasizing its significance in India's overall development and technological advancement.