the details of the mission that will emerge in 2022

L’space exploration takes on the appearance of the Cold War. On April 12, Vladimir Putin made his first excursion from Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. He visited his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, the two heads of state who have since conducted a televised intervention Vostochny Cosmodromeeast of Russia.

This symbolic date marks the 61st anniversary of the first manned space flight Yuri Gagarinwanted to remind Vladimir Putin Importance of Russia in space conquest and announced the return of lunar missions from 2022. The Roscosmos space agency was to coordinate the Luna 25 mission, a robotic science mission to explore the moon. It will be the first Russian probe to land on our natural satellite since 1976 and the Luna 24 mission.

Back to the Future

The Russian News Agency RIA Novosti revealed on April 8 that Roscosmos planned to launch the Luna 25 probe on August 22, 2022. If the mission was already experiencing delays, Vladimir Putin reportedly asked the space agency’s director general: Dmitry Rogozinthat the probe will be ready before September, according to the Tass news agency. Luna 25 could effectively mark Russia’s return to aerospace as the sector has suffered from a deep economic crisis caused by thecollapse of the Soviet bloc in 1991.

The first sketches for Luna 25 emerging in 1997. The project, then called “Luna Glob”, was formalized in 2005 and the probe was scheduled to launch to the moon in 2012 Fobos Grunt mission to Mars results in Luna 25 being postponed to 2016. Luna 25 will be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with a Soyuz 2.1b and will land near the South Pole after five days of travel.

Once On the moon, Luna 25 will conduct various experiments on the lunar surface. The main goals relate to the analysis of the regolith that covers the entire surface of the moon with a white layer of dust. The probe will also be able to observe the thermal variations of regolith in the region, which could give researchers clues as to the possible presence of water in the moon’s inner layers.

Russia goes it alone

The Luna 25 mission was supposed to take place in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), but the Russian-initiated war has defeated scientific cooperation between that country and western space institutions. On April 13th ESA announced its withdrawal Luna missions 25, 26 and 27. A new setback while the ExoMars mission also suffered the same flashes geopolitical tensions with Russia and will certainly not leave in 2022.

It is difficult to predict if Roscosmos will meet its deadlines and manage to launch Luna 25 in August. Most specialists agree that landing on the moon is a dangerous task. But the Luna 25 mission is of great importance for Russia and could be a first milestone for cooperation with China construction the permanent moon base, theInternational Lunar Research Station (ILRS), which is expected to start in 2026.

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