Luna 25: Russian Moon mission

The Roscosmos is to launch Luna 25 by October 2021. The Roscosmos is the State Space Corporation of Russia that is responsible for space flights, aerospace research and cosmonautics programmes.

About Luna 25

  • The Mission will carry a lander. The primary objective of Luna 25 is to prove landing technology.
  • It is to carry thirty kilo grams of scientific instruments including a robotic arm and drilling hardware to collect soil samples.
  • It will study the exosphere around the south pole of the moon. Till date no spacecraft has been to this region of the moon. Several countries look at the site as future moon bases.
  • The project is financed by Roscosmos.

Payloads of the Lander

The lander of Luna 25 will carry the following National Science instruments:

  • ADRON-LR. It is an active gamma ray and neutron analysis instrument to study the regolith. Regolith is the unconsolidated rocky material that covers bedrock.
  • ARIES-L. It will measure plasma in the exosphere.
  • LASMA-LR. It is a mass spectrometer
  • PmL. It measures micro-meteorites and dust
  • LIS-TV-RPM. It is an infrared spectrometry of imaging and minerals
  • STS-L. It is local imaging and panoramic instrument
  • BUNI. It is science data and power support instrument
  • Moon libration, LASER retroreflector and ranging experiments

ESA role in Luna 25

The European Space Agency has been developing a package called PROSPECT for Luna 25. It is to be used for lunar drilling and sample analysis. PROSPECT is Package for Resource Observation and in-Situ Prospecting for Exploration.

Earlier Luna missions

The last of the Luna series was Luna 24 that was launched in 1976. It was the third Soviet Union mission to retrieve lunar surface samples. The first Luna mission was launched in 1970.

Lunar-A

Lunar-A was a proposed orbiter of Luna 25 mission. It was to be developed through a merger between Roscosmos and JAXA (Japanese Space Agency). However, the merger was aborted.

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