In a race with India to reach the south pole region first, Russia is all set to launch its first lunar landing mission on August 11 after almost 5 decades. July 14, the day when India’s Chandrayan-3 was launched, Russia is ready to launch its spacecraft just after 28 days of Indian Spacecraft.
A Soyuz 2.1v rocket carrying the Luna-25 craft will blast off from the Vostochny cosmodrome, 3,450 miles (5,550 km) east of Moscow, at 2:11 a.m. on Friday Moscow time (1111 GMT on Thursday). With its upper stage boosting the lander out of Earth’s orbit toward the moon over an hour later, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos confirmed.
“Now we will wait for the 21st. I hope that a highly precise soft landing on the moon will happen,” Borisov told workers at the Vostochny Cosmodrome after the launch, according to Interfax.
Luna-25, roughly the size of a small car, will aim to operate for a year on the moon’s south pole, where scientists at NASA and other space agencies in recent years have detected traces of water ice in the region’s shadowed craters.
the spacecraft is expected to reach the lunar world on Aug 21, Russia’s space chief Yuri Borisov told Interfax on Friday. Russian space agency Roscosmos previously pegged Aug. 23 as the landing date.
As no country has made a soft landing on the south pole, Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3 now will be in a race to set foot on the moon.