Russia Launches Luna 25; Know When It Will Land On Moon
Moscow: Russia has launched Luna 25, the first Soviet lunar exploration spacecraft to be launched after 47 years. Luna 24, which took off into space on August 14, 1976, was the last Soviet lunar mission to be launched. Since Russia became an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, Luna 25 is the first lunar exploration mission of modern Russia.
The Soyuz-2 Fregat launch vehicle launched the 800-kilogram Roscosmos’s Luna 25 spacecraft from Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia, on August 10, 2023, at 23:10 UTC (August 11, 2023, at 4:40 am IST). Also known as the Luna-Glob-Lander, Luna 25 aims to place a robotic lander on the Moon’s south pole.
The two primary scientific milestones Luna 25 aims to achieve are studying the composition of the polar regolith, and analysing the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere, according to NASA.
After launch, Luna 25 is on its way to the Moon. About 564 seconds after launch, the Fregat booster separated from the third stage of the Soyuz rocket, Russian news agency TASS reported. It will take Luna 25 about 5.5 days to reach the Moon.
According to an article by The New York Times (NYT), Luna 25 is expected to reach lunar orbit on August 16. Earlier, the tentative landing date of Luna 25 was August 23, but now, the spacecraft is expected to land on the Moon on August 21.
Luna 25 will spend between three and seven days in lunar orbit, about 100 kilometres above the lunar surface, before attempting lunar landing. The spacecraft aims to touch down in a region of the Boguslavsky crater. The alternative sites are Manzinus and Pentland-A craters. According to NASA, the main landing site, in the lunar south pole, is at 69.545 S, 43.544 E, north of Boguslavsky crater.
Luna 25 is expected to perform scientific experiments on the lunar surface for one year.