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Russia launches its first lunar mission

Moscow, Aug 11 (Prensa Latina) The Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying Russia’s first mission to the Moon in 40 years took off from the Vostochny cosmodrome, the RosCosmos Space Corporation reported on Friday.

RosCosmos said that the Fregat upper stage carrying the Luna-25 automatic station has already separated from the third stage of the rocket; the station will be separated from the Fregat module later.

The automatic station’s flight to the Moon will last up to 5.5 days, according to the standard schedule. After the braking impulse, the spacecraft will enter orbit at an altitude of 100 kilometers above the Moon, where it will remain between three and seven days.

Luna-25 will be the first station to make a soft landing in the polar region, where the terrain is difficult. All previous missions landed in the equatorial zone of the Moon.

The module is scheduled to land near the Boguslavski crater, while the reserve areas are in the vicinity of the Manzinus and Pentland craters.

Luna-25’s main task will be to test the soft-landing technology. The mission may become the first spacecraft to land on the south pole of the Moon.

The module will study the internal structure and exploration of natural resources, including water, as well as researching the impact of cosmic rays and electromagnetic radiation on the Moon’s surface.

Russia plans to launch the Luna-26 orbiter in 2027, and by 2028 it plans to put in space the Luna-27 mission, which must land in an area that would host a lunar base in the future to research the polar permafrost.