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Saturday, 21 August 2021

The launch of the Luna-25 station is scheduled for May 2022


The launch of the Luna-25 automatic interplanetary station from the Vostochny Cosmodrome has been reconfirmed and is scheduled for the second possible launch window (the period when the spacecraft launched from the Earth, taking into account its design features and power-to-weight ratio, will optimally reach its destination along a given trajectory) in May 2022.

The shift to the second launch window was caused by the need to further confirm the declared characteristics of Luna-25 devices, assemblies and propulsion system, revealed during ground testing, in conditions as close as possible to outer space that can be achieved on Earth.

The currently completed tests, which are critically important for ground-based experimental development of the spacecraft, revealed the need for additional research, including taking into account the ballistic conditions of the flight to the Moon. Even taking into account the fact that the spacecraft is now fully equipped with standard instruments and systems, there is a need to carry out checks to ensure the required reliability of the first Russian mission to the moon.

The measures will enable Roscosmos specialists to additionally check the functioning of the onboard equipment, including testing the electrical docking of the components, the behavior and typical sessions in accordance with the flight sequence, taking into account the factors discovered during the ground tests.

The Luna-25 space project is being created using the latest achievements in the field of space instrumentation and taking into account the experience of previous lunar expeditions of NPO Lavochkin (part of Roscosmos).

In addition, as part of the preparation of the Luna-25 mission, it is planned to implement additional measures taking into account the recommendations after the analysis of the Nauka MLM launch results. This project opens a long-term Russian lunar program, which includes missions to study the Moon from orbit and surface, collect and return lunar soil to Earth, as well as construct a visited lunar base and perform full-scale development of our satellite in the future, including in cooperation with the Chinese National Space Administration within a large-scale project to create an International Scientific Lunar Station.

The Luna-25 spacecraft consists of two main structural parts. The lower part is a landing module with supporting feet that ensure safe contact with the surface. The station propulsion system is also fixed on it, ensuring the flight trajectory correction, deceleration during deorbiting and a soft landing. The upper part is an unpressurized instrument compartment. It contains solar panels, a thermal control system radiator, the station's electronic equipment, scientific instruments, and an energy source. The main task of this mission is to develop basic soft landing technologies in the circumpolar region and conduct contact studies of a given region of the Moon's South Pole. The Luna-25 space expedition is an important step in space exploration. It will allow reaching a qualitatively new level in Moon exploration and give a different angle of view of the Solar System planets  development prospects, to understand the planetary genesis mechanisms, the appearance of water and, consequently, life on Earth.

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