Russia has launched a mission to the moon after a gap of almost 50 years. The Soyuz 2.1v rocket took off without incident, and the Luna-25 vehicle is on its way to the Silver Globe. What do the Russians want to achieve on the surface of the satellite?
On the night from Thursday to Friday, Russia carried out the launch of a new lunar mission. Thus, with considerable delay, the country joined the second space race to the Moon, where it will face not only the USA, but also China and India.
Russia with a mission to the moon – Luna-25 will land on the surface
The launch was carried out from the Vostochny cosmodrome, located close to the border with China and as far as 5500 km to the east from Moscow. The departure took place at 2:11 Moscow time, in Poland it was approximately 1:11 am. As part of the mission, the Soyuz 2.1vz rocket carried the Luna-25 lunar vehicle into space. On Friday morning, the device and the lander left Earth’s orbit and were heading towards the Moon.
The journey to the Silver Globe is expected to take about a week, and the machine is scheduled to land on August 21. Previously, the Russians were talking about a plan to land on August 23. “We are currently waiting for the twenty-first. I hope that we will conduct a very precise soft landing. We want to be the first to do it, Yuri Borisov, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, reportedly told employees of the Vostochny Cosmodrome.
This is Russia’s first lunar mission since 1976. Back then, as the Soviet Union, the country sent a Luna-24 vehicle that returned to Earth with samples of the Moon’s soil.
Luna-25 mission – Russia races with China, USA, India
The Luna-25 vehicle is expected to operate for about a year and search for traces of water near the Moon’s south pole. Currently, many other countries are racing to land at the pole of the Silver Globe.
Several landings have already ended in accidents (machines from Japan, Israel and India) and so far no country has completed the mission successfully. However, China may be close to a breakthrough, and India currently has a Chandrayaan-3 lander in satellite orbit. The USA recently performed a manned flight around the Silver Globe.