Luna-25: Russia’s Next Step in Lunar Exploration Towards the South Pole

Luna-25: Russia’s Next Step in Lunar Exploration Towards the South Pole

After India, now Russia has also launched its lunar mission, Luna-25. After 47 years, Russia has sent its own spacecraft to the Moon. Luna-25 was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast region, located about 5500 kilometers east of Moscow. It is said that Russia’s Luna-25 will step onto the Moon before India’s Chandrayaan-3.

The Russian lander will orbit the Moon for 7-10 days. According to Russian media, on Friday, August 11, at 4:40 AM, the Luna-25 lander was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Luna-25 was sent to the Moon aboard a Soyuz 2.1b rocket as part of the Luna-Glob mission. The rocket is approximately 46.3 meters tall with a diameter of 10.3 meters. Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, has announced that Luna-25 has started its journey towards the Moon and will approach the Moon for five days. Afterward, the 313-tonne rocket will orbit the Moon for 7-10 days. It is expected to reach the lunar surface on August 21 or 22.

NASA had claimed the presence of water.

According to Russian media, Russia’s plan is to land the lander on the southern pole of the Moon. Experts suggest that there might be water present on this pole of the Moon. It’s worth mentioning that in 2018, NASA had announced the presence of water on the southern polar region of the Moon. Luna-25 carries a rover and a lander. The lander weighs around 800 kilograms. Luna-25 will practice a soft landing. The lander contains a special device designed to dig about six inches into the surface. Luna-25 will collect samples of rocks and soil, which could lead to the discovery of trapped water. Russia’s aim is to ensure that when humans establish a base on the Moon in the future, water availability isn’t an issue.

Possibility of Russia landing on the Moon before Chandrayaan-3.

It is expected that Luna-25 will land on the lunar surface on August 21 or 22. On the other hand, Chandrayaan-3, launched by India on July 14, is set to land on the Moon on August 23. The timing of Luna-25’s landing and Chandrayaan-3’s landing will be quite close. Luna-25 will touch down on the Moon a few hours before Chandrayaan-3. Prior to this, in 1976, Russia had landed Luna-24 on the Moon. Until now, all lunar missions worldwide have landed around the Moon’s equator. However, if Luna-25 is successful, it will mark the first time a country has landed on the Moon’s south pole.

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