India’s Moon mission set to land after Luna 25 crash leaves Putin blushing | Science | News

India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon’s southern polar region is set to land Wednesday this week, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has reported.

The confirmation came almost at the same time as it was reported yesterday that Russia’s Luna 25 mission — also set to land on the Moon this week — had crashed.

The little space race between the two countries came to an abrupt conclusion following what Roscosmos described as an “abnormal situation” in pre-landing manoeuvres on Saturday.

The incident is no doubt an embarrassment to renewed space ambitions — which are reported to include teaming up with China to build a lunar base by the year 2035.

This morning, meanwhile, ISRO has reported that the Vikram lander is busy mapping out its planned landing site with its “hazard detection and avoidance” camera, looking for a safe spot to touch down on that is clear of “boulders or deep trenches”.

The ISRO posted an update on the status of their lunar mission on Twitter yesterday morning.

They said: “Chandrayaan-3 is set to land on the moon on August 23, 2023, around 18:04 Hrs. IST. Thanks for the wishes and positivity!”

(06:04 PM India Standard Time is equivalent to 8:34 AM Eastern Time, 5:34 AM Pacific Time.)

For those looking to follow along at home, ISRO is offering live coverage on their website, YouTube, and Facebook.

The primary purpose of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is to demonstrate a lunar landing and successful deployment of the Pragyan rover carried by the Vikram lander.

However, the mission will also be conducting a series of scientific observations of the Moon, including experiments on material from the lunar surface.

In a statement, a spokesperson for ISRO said: “India’s pursuit of space exploration reaches a remarkable milestone with the impending Chandrayaan-3 Mission, poised to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface.

“This achievement marks a significant step forward for Indian Science, Engineering, Technology, and Industry, symbolizing our nation’s progress in space exploration.

“The soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 is a monumental moment that not only fuels curiosity but also sparks a passion for exploration within the minds of our youth.

“It generates a profound sense of pride and unity as we collectively celebrate the prowess of Indian science and technology.”

They concluded: “It will contribute to fostering an environment of scientific inquiry and innovation.”

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