Russia to send Luna-25 mission to the Moon collect lunar regolith

Russia's Space Corporation Roscosmos has published a short video dedicated to preparations for the Luna-25 mission to the Moon. Roscosmos is to launch the rocket with the research vehicle of the mission in October 2021.

The main landing zone of the Luna-25 space probe is located north of the Boguslavsky crater. The alternative landing zone is located south-west of the Manzini crater.

For the mission to be successful, the Luna-25 is supposed to land in one of these regions within an ellipse of 15 by 30 kilometers. As part of its mission, the Russian lunar probe will study the properties and composition of polar soil, measure its mechanical characteristics, and explore the polar exosphere of the Moon. It will be the first spacecraft to conduct research in the polar region of the's Earth satellite. The probe's declared active life on the lunar surface makes up at least one year.

The probe has eight cameras and nine scientific instruments:

  • a neutron and gamma-ray detector,
  • a neutron detector to analyse the presence of hydrogen in subsurface layers,
  • an instrument to analyse soil samples,
  • a robotic arm to scoop up lunar regolith,
  • an instrument to study the lunar exosphere,
  • an instrument to study dust particles,
  • a collimated gamma spectrometer,
  • a neutron spectrometer.

The last Soviet lunar mission was carried out in 1976, when the Luna-24 lunar probe made a soft landing on the Moon, collected soil samples and delivered them back to Earth.

It is worthy of note that the numbering of Russian lunar missions continues the numbering of Soviet ones.

After the Luna-25 mission, Roscosmos plans to send the Luna-26 orbiter and the Luna-27 research station to the Moon.

In March of this year, Dmitry Rogozin, the CEO of Roscosmos State Corporation, and Zhang Kejian, the chief of the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on behalf of the governments of Russia and China to build the International Scientific Lunar Station.

Within the framework of the project, Russia and China will jointly develop a roadmap for the creation of the scientific lunar station. According to Roscosmos, the station is to become a complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface of the Moon and/or in its orbit of the Moon for multidisciplinary and multipurpose research activities.

The list of such activities includes the exploration of the Moon, lunar observations, fundamental research experiments, as well as testing technologies for long-term unmanned exploitation with the prospect of manned presence on the Moon.

Russian lunar base on the Moon by 2030