Russia’s Luna-25 Moon lander.
Credit: RSC Energia/Roscosmos


The Russian robotic Moon lander – Luna-25 – has slipped from an October liftoff to May 2022.

“The shift to the second launch window was caused by the need to further confirm the declared characteristics of Luna-25 devices, assemblies and propulsion system, revealed during ground testing, in conditions as close as possible to outer space that can be achieved on Earth,” Russia’s Roscosmos has stated.

Credit: Roscosmos/Inside Outer Space screengrab

The Luna-25 is a product of NPO Lavochkin (part of Roscosmos).

Additional testing needed

The currently completed tests, which are critically important for ground-based experimental development of the spacecraft, revealed the need for additional research, Roscosmos added. “There is a need to carry out checks to ensure the required reliability of the first Russian mission to the Moon.”

Credit: Roscosmos/Inside Outer Space screengrab

In addition, as part of the preparation of the Luna-25 mission, it is planned to implement additional measures taking into account the recommendations after the analysis of the recent Nauka module launch results, Roscosmos said.

South pole probing

Luna-25 opens a long-term Russian lunar program, which includes missions to study the Moon from orbit and surface, collect and return lunar soil to Earth, as well as construct a visited lunar base, in cooperation with the Chinese National Space Administration within a large-scale project to create an International Scientific Lunar Station.

Lunar hardware undergoes testing.
Credit: RSC Energia/Roscosmos

The Luna-25 mission’s main task is to develop basic soft landing technologies in the Moon’s circumpolar region and conduct contact studies of a given region of the Moon’s south pole.

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