The mission aims to give a new boost to Russia’s space sector, which has been struggling for years
Russia’s first lunar probe in nearly 50 years, Luna-25, is scheduled to reach lunar orbit on Wednesday, according to the schedule of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.
The probe will then orbit around the moon, 100 kilometers from its surface, before its scheduled landing on Monday, north of the Bogoslavsky crater, on the south pole of the moon, according to the agency. On Sunday, the cameras installed on the probe took the first pictures from space, where we can see the elements of the probe along with the Earth and the Moon in the distance, Roscosmos announced.
The nearly 800-kilogram probe, carried by a Soyuz rocket, took off on the night of August 10-11 from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East.
The probe, which will remain on the moon for a year, will have the task of taking samples and analyzing the lunar soil.
“For the first time in history, a lunar landing will take place at the south pole of the Moon. Until now, everyone has been landing in the equatorial zone,” Alexander Blokhin, a senior Roskosmos official, welcomed in a recent interview with the official. Rossiïskaïa Gazeta newspaper. The launch of the Luna-25 probe is Moscow’s first lunar mission since 1976, when the USSR pioneered the conquest of space.
The mission aims to give a new boost to Russia’s space sector, which has been struggling for years due to funding problems and corruption scandals, and is now isolated by the conflict in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has promised to continue Russia’s space program despite the sanctions, citing the example of the Soviet Union sending its first man into space in 1961, amid rising tensions between East and West.
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