Russia launches first Moon probe in 47 years

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Russia aims to rekindle its lunar exploration program with the launch of Luna 25, the country’s first moon probe in 47 years. The spacecraft, also known as the Luna-Glob-Lander, is scheduled to lift off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East on Friday, October 15, 2021, aboard a Soyuz-2.1b rocket.

Luna 25’s primary mission is to test the technology for a soft landing on the lunar surface, a feat that Russia has not achieved since the Soviet-era Luna 24 mission in 1976.

The probe will also carry 30 kg of scientific instruments, including a robotic arm for soil samples and possible drilling hardware. The target landing site is near the south pole of the moon, a region that is rich in water and other resources.

The mission will also study the internal structure of the lunar regolith, the plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere, and the effects of cosmic rays and electromagnetic radiation on the moon. Luna 25 is expected to operate for one year on the lunar surface.

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