Russian probe reaches lunar orbit ahead of historic landing attempt

Lazy eyes listen


The Luna-25 automated station has reached the Moon’s satellite orbit and is prepared to conduct a historic landing attempt on the lunar surface, according to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

“All Luna-25 systems are operational, and communication with it is stable.” Sessions are being held to assess the present navigational parameters,” Roscosmos said in a statement released on Wednesday.

According to the agency, this is the first time in Russia’s contemporary history that an automatic station has been dispatched to the moon. Roscosmos stated that as part of this mission, it plans to work on developing and testing soft landing technologies, examine lunar soil, and perform long-term scientific research, including on the upper layer of regolith at the Moon’s south pole.

It was also observed that the Luna-25 mission varies from previous missions in that they all landed in the Moon’s equatorial zone, whereas this current mission would attempt a soft landing in the polar region, which has substantially more difficult terrain. The mission is scheduled to arrive at the Moon on August 21.

The Luna-25 mission was launched on Friday, August 11 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East atop a Soyuz 2.1b rocket. Roscosmos announced on Sunday that the autonomous probe had successfully turned on its research equipment and began sending data back to Earth, which is currently being examined by the project’s scientific team.

Although Luna-25 is technically Russia’s first moon landing mission, its name is derived from a similar Soviet-era program that launched 24 probes to the lunar surface between 1958 and 1976.