Luna 25: the first Russian spacecraft in 47 years heading to the moon

On August 10, 2023, at 23:10 UTC, the Russian Luna 25 spacecraft launched to the Moon from Vostochny cosmodrome on top of a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat-M upper stage. This is the first mission to explore the Earth satellite created by the Russian Federation: the previous spacecraft, Luna 24, was launched in 1976 by the Soviet Union. The entire future of the lunar program in Russia depends on whether this spacecraft will be able to make a soft landing near the south pole of the Moon. The pause between Luna 24 and Luna 25 shouldn’t have been so long. Since the 1990s, the Luna-Globe program has been developed in Russia to study the internal structure of the Moon. At various times, it included penetrators (shock probes that had to be inserted into the lunar soil at three or four points at high speed), orbiters, landing stations, and lunar rovers, and the program was regularly changed. It was planned to prepare the mission for launch in 2013. After the Russian Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) onboard the American Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) showed the presence of water in the lunar soil, it was decided to focus on the study of…

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Luna 25: the first Russian spacecraft in 47 years heading to the moon

Updated: August 10, 2023 — 10:26 pm