Rocket with a lunar landing craft has blasted off on Russia’s first moon mission in nearly 50 years

LONDON: A rocket carrying a lunar touchdown craft blasted off Friday on Russia’s first moon mission in almost 50 years.

The launch from Russia’s spaceport within the Far East of the Luna-25 craft to the moon is Russia’s first since 1976 when it was a part of the Soviet Union.
The Russian lunar lander is anticipated to achieve the moon on August 23, about the identical day as an Indian craft which was launched on July 14.

The launch of the Luna-25 craft to the moon shall be Russia’s first since 1976 when it was a part of the Soviet Union and shall be performed with out help from the European Area Company, which ended cooperation with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
Solely three governments have managed profitable moon landings: the Soviet Union, america and China. India and Russia are aiming to be the primary to land on the moon’s south pole.
Roscosmos, Russia’s area company, mentioned it desires to indicate Russia “is a state able to delivering a payload to the moon,” and “guarantee Russia’s assured entry to the moon’s floor.”
“Research of the moon will not be the purpose,” mentioned Vitaly Egorov, a well-liked Russian area analyst. “The purpose is political competitors between two superpowers — China and the USA — and a lot of different international locations which additionally wish to declare the title of area superpower.”
Sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine make it more durable for it to entry Western know-how, impacting its area program. The Luna-25 was initially meant to hold a small moon rover however that concept was deserted to scale back the burden of the craft for improved reliability, analysts say.
“International electronics are lighter, home electronics are heavier,” Egorov mentioned. “Whereas scientists might need the duty of finding out lunar water, for Roscosmos the primary job is just to land on the moon — to recuperate misplaced Soviet experience and discover ways to carry out this job in a brand new period.”
The Luna-25 shall be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East. The spaceport is a pet mission of Russian President Vladimir Putin and is vital to his efforts to make Russia an area superpower and transfer Russian launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
It’s unclear if Putin will attend the launch of the lunar lander. In 2016, he was current on the failed launch of a Soyuz rocket, after which Russian media reported he significantly rebuked officers.
A earlier Indian try and land on the moon’s south pole in 2019 ended when the lander crashed into the moon’s floor.
The lunar south pole is of explicit curiosity to scientists, who consider the completely shadowed polar craters might comprise water. The frozen water within the rocks may very well be remodeled by future explorers into air and rocket gas.
“The moon is essentially untouched and the entire historical past of the moon is written on its face,” mentioned Ed Bloomer, an astronomer at Britain’s Royal Observatory, Greenwich. “It’s pristine and like nothing you get on Earth. It’s its personal laboratory.”
The Luna-25 is to take samples of moon rock and mud. The samples are essential to understanding the moon’s surroundings forward of constructing any base there, “in any other case we may very well be constructing issues and having to close them down six months later as a result of all the pieces has successfully been sand-blasted,” Bloomer mentioned.

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