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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeTechnologyIndia's Lunar Lander Successfully Touches Down; Russia's Crash-Lands on Moon

India’s Lunar Lander Successfully Touches Down; Russia’s Crash-Lands on Moon

India’s successful moon landing not only boosts its standing as a rising power with technological prowess, but also reflects the geopolitical dynamics on Earth, according to experts. The race towards the moon’s south pole continues, with India’s achievement adding to its status as a formidable player in space exploration. It is important for countries to carefully consider what they bring to space and avoid cluttering it with mechanical debris that could complicate future missions. While Russia suffered a setback, their moon program is not over as they plan to collaborate with China on a lunar research station. This success has reignited efforts to explore other celestial bodies, such as Venus and Mars.

China has been the only country to achieve considerable success in landing spacecraft on the moon in the past decade, with missions like Chang’e 3, 4, and 5. However, until China’s accomplishments, the moon had been neglected for decades, with the last successful lunar landing by NASA’s Apollo mission in 1972 and the USSR’s Luna-24 mission in 1976. This extended period of neglect may have resulted in limited institutional memory, particularly for Russia, making it challenging for them to develop and execute new moon missions. Despite their limited funding due to sanctions and potential propulsion design changes, Russia plans to launch Luna-26 and Luna-27 in the coming years.

NASA’s Artemis program has made progress with its mission to land humans on the moon in 2026, despite facing its own challenges. The program aims to use SpaceX’s Starship lander, though recent test flight failures indicate that further development is necessary. NASA has increasingly relied on commercial partners to accelerate moon exploration and reduce costs. These partnerships include Astrobotic, Firefly Aerospace, Intuitive Machines, and Draper, which are tasked with delivering various payloads to the lunar surface. Nations like India, Japan, and Israel, on the other hand, have started their moon programs from scratch, with India planning to collaborate with Japan on the Lunar Polar Exploration rover in the future. India’s successful moon landing sets a high bar for future space exploration endeavors and fuels the motivation to make further scientific achievements.

Overall, India’s accomplishment demonstrates its rising power and technological capabilities, while also highlighting the competitive nature of space exploration among nations. The race towards the moon’s south pole continues, with various countries and commercial partners striving to achieve landmark missions. This success has invigorated efforts to explore other celestial bodies and pursue ambitious future endeavors, such as manned missions, Venus exploration, and Mars landings. The success in space reflects the geopolitical landscape on Earth, emphasizing the importance of carefully considering what is brought to space and avoiding the cluttering of satellite orbits with unnecessary debris.

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