Russia launched the rocket carrying the probe to the moon, marking its first mission to the satellite in nearly fifty years.
A mission intended to give new impetus to Moscow’s space sector, which has been struggling and isolated for years due to the conflict in Ukraine
The Soyuz rocket, carrying a probe weighing nearly 800 kilograms, was launched at 2.10 Moscow time from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Amur, according to images broadcast live by the Russian space agency Roscosmos. With a column of smoke and flames under a gray sky.
It should reach lunar orbit within five days, and then it will take three to seven days to choose a suitable spot before landing in the lunar south pole region. According to a source within Roscosmos, the agency expects the probe to land around August 21.
“For the first time in history, the moon landing will take place on the south pole of the moon. Until now, everyone has been on the moon in the equatorial zone,” said Alexander Blokhin, a senior official of Roskosmos.
The space agency once again specified that the probe, which will have to stay on the lunar surface for a year, will have a mission to “take soil samples and analyzes,” as well as “carry out long-term scientific research.”
This launch is the first mission for Russia’s new moon program, which begins after Roscosmos is stripped of its partnership with the West. Therefore, Moscow is trying to develop space cooperation with China.
The launch of Luna-25 is Moscow’s first lunar mission since 1976, when the Soviet Union was at the forefront of space exploration.
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