Russia launches Luna-25
ContextThe Russian space agency, Roscomos, has successfully launched its first lunar lander in 47 years, marking a significant milestone in its space program.
|The launch from Russia’s Vostochny spaceport in the Far East of the Luna-25 craft to the moon is Russia’s first since 1976 when it was part of the Soviet Union.
- Objective: There are two primary objectives of the mission;
- to study composition of the polar regolith
- to study the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere
- These samples are crucialfor understanding the lunar environment before any potential base construction.
- Prime Location: The Luna-25 mission is part of a broader race to explore the lunar South Pole, a region believed to hold coveted pockets of water ice.
- The spacecraft, roughly the size of a small car, will operate for a year on the moon’s South Pole.
- Scientists have detected traces of water ice in the region’s shadowed craters, making it a prime location for future lunar bases.
- The discovery of water ice could be historic as it could be used to extract fuel and oxygen, as well as provide drinking water for future lunar inhabitants.
- The mission’s success could potentially reshape the landscape of lunar exploration in the coming years, placing Russia at the forefront of this new space race.
- Major Powers such as the United States, China, India, Japan, and the European Union have all been probing the moon in recent years.
- However, no country has yet made a soft landing on the South Pole. If successful, Luna-25 could potentially make Russia the first nation to achieve this feat.
- India’s Chandrayaan-3, which is also poised for a landing in the same vicinity — the moon’s South Polar Region.
- However, the two lunar missions, Luna 25 and Chandrayaan-3, won’t interfere with each other, as they have separate landing areas planned.
- The Luna 25 mission aims to study the composition of the lunar polar regolith (surface material) and the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere.
- Chandrayaan-3 aims to demonstrate a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, rover mobility, and in-situ scientific experiments.
|Other short route missions: