Russia all set to launch moon mission Luna-25

NASA is set to provide live coverage of the Roscosmos spacewalk outside the space station.

Madhu Balaji

Following the launch of India's Chandrayaan-3, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, is all set to launch its moon mission Luna-25. The mission that is scheduled for a launch on August 11 is the country's first lunar exploration since 1976 when it was a part of the Soviet Union.

According to media reports, the Luna-25 mission aimed for the lunar south pole at the Boguslavsky crater is scheduled to land on the Moon on August 23, the same day as India's Chandrayaan-3.

The Russian space agency was quoted as saying in an Indian Express report that the space mission will analyse soil samples and conduct long-term scientific research on the Moon's surface. The mission was earlier scheduled to launch in October 2021.  NASA is set to provide live coverage of the Roscosmos spacewalk outside the space station on its television, NASA app and the agency's website. The agency noted that Luna-25, also designated the Luna-Glob-Lander, has a four-legged base containing the landing rockets and propellant tanks, an upper compartment holds the solar panels, communication equipment, on-board computers, and most of the science apparatus. 

The lander has a 1.6 meter-long Lunar Robotic Arm (LRA, or Lunar Manipulator Complex) to remove and collect the surface regolith to depths of 20 to 30 cm. The LRA is equipped with a scoop (175 cubic cm volume) and a sample acquisition tool, a 4.7 cm long tube with an internal diameter of 1.25 cm. The arm has four degrees of freedom/rotations: azimuthal, shoulder, elbow, and wrist/scoop.

The mission will be completed without equipment from the European Space Agency (ESA), reports Euro News as ESA ended its cooperation with Roscosmos after Russia invaded Ukraine.

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