The Moon, our calm natural satellite, seems to be going through its peak season for tourism. Specifically its south pole.
This part of the Moon is especially interesting for astronomers due to the presence of water ice, located in craters that are permanently in shadow, at very low temperatures, and minerals such as titanium, silicon or the iron. This makes it the ideal place to establish possible permanent lunar bases, which could play a very important role in the exploration of Mars.
Last Saturday, the landing module of the Luna 25 unmanned spacecraft, launched by the Russian space agency Roscosmos, crashed on the Moon. "Preliminary analysis results suggest that a deviation between the actual and calculated parameters of the propulsion maneuver led the Luna-25 spacecraft to enter an undesignated orbit and it ceased to exist following a collision with the surface of the Moon", Rocosmos pointed . The previous Russian space mission to the Moon was the Luna 24 spacecraft, launched on August 9, 1976, at the time of the Soviet communist dictatorship.
Now, the Indian Space Research Agency (ISRO) intends to land its unmanned spacecraft Chandrayaan 3 at a relatively close distance from the site where the Russian Luna 25 mission was scheduled to land. The Indian spacecraft is cheaper than the Russian one, but it is equipped with a rover, a wheeled vehicle, in order to carry out scientific experiments once it has landed. ISRO has announced that Chandrayaan 3 will land on the Moon on August 23 at 6:00 p.m. 04 IST time (at 12:34 Madrid time). Let's remember that the previous Indian space mission to the Moon, the Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft, crashed in 2019.
Regarding these two missions to the Moon, I recommend the video published today by the Spanish channel Mission Control (the video is in Spanish, you can activate the automatic subtitles in English in the bottom bar of the player):
You can follow the landing of the Chandrayaan 3 ship here through the official channel of the ISRO agency:
Main photo: NASA.
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