The spacecraft is still being tested and according to Roskosmos – the Russian space agency – it would be advisable to launch it in August. Now they are simulating landing on the surface of the moon.
Luna 25 will be Russia’s first lunar expedition since the fall of the Soviet Union. Luna 24 lunar sampling in 1976 was the last Soviet lunar mission.
The mission has suffered a number of delays: previously planned for 2020, it was pushed back to 2021, 2022 and 2023.
The spacecraft will be launched from the Vostochny space center on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying a Fregat launch vehicle.
The lander is targeting the south polar region of the Moon, where it will operate for at least a year. The mission will also analyze the local dust and thin plasma exosphere environment.
The European Space Agency canceled its participation in the mission – through the specially built European Pilot-D camera – following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
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