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Near And Far Sides Of The Moon UPSC NOTE


  • Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-3 had a controlled descent, making it one of the closest approaches to the moon's South Pole.

  • Unlike previous missions, Vikram landed on the moon's near side, while China's Chang'e 4 mission landed on the far side.

Moon's Near and Far Sides:

  • The near side (60% visible) is always visible from Earth due to the moon's rotation synchronizing with its orbit.

  • The far side was hidden until Luna 3 photographed it in 1959.

  • The "dark side" is only "dark" in the sense of being less explored, not permanently in darkness.

Differences Between Near and Far Sides:

  • Near side is smoother with more volcanic plains ("maria").

  • Far side has vast craters from asteroid impacts.

  • Thinner crust on the near side led to more extensive volcanic lava flows and smoother plains.

Chandrayaan-3's Landing and South Pole:

  • Chandrayaan-3's Vikram landed closest to the lunar South Pole, around 600 km away.

  • Chosen for proximity to a "permanently shadowed region" with potential water-ice and valuable resources.

  • Vikram wasn't in complete shadow to keep solar batteries charged.

Reasons for Near Side Landing:

  • Controlled "soft landing" was primary goal.

  • Near side allowed line-of-sight communication with Earth, vital for real-time updates.

  • Landing on far side would require relays, causing communication delays.

  • Objectives of the mission determine landing location choice.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Near And Far Sides Of The Moon UPSC NOTE
Near And Far Sides Of The Moon UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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