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Russia Targets the Moon This Year With Luna 25 Mission

To date, there has been only one nation that managed to put humans on the Moon, and that is the United States. But our planet’s satellite has been a target for others as well, even if big nations like Russia and China only sent robotic spacecraft up there.
Luna 25 rendering 1 photo
Now that America is once again looking to send humans up, competing nations seem to have awakened as well. Once a formidable foe of the Americans in space, the Russians have been relegated to taxi duties ever since the space shuttle program ended, sending people up to the International Space Station in their mighty Soyuz rocket-capsule assembly.

But now, thanks to SpaceX and soon Boeing, the U.S. and Europe have alternatives, and the Russians cannot count on ferrying astronauts and cosmonauts up and down forever. Also, they cannot allow the U.S. such a big head start in the colonization of the Moon. So, for the first time in a very long time (about 45 years), Roscosmos is finally planning a mission to the Moon.

Luna 25 is how it’s called, and it is scheduled for take-off in the fall of this year. The target is the lunar south pole, pretty much the same area where Artemis astronauts will disembark from their fancy SpaceX lander by the middle of this decade. Luna 25 has no complicated equipment on board and is essentially just meant to validate landing technology developed in Russia.

Why are the Russians doing this? Well, in the words of an adviser for the Russian Space Research Institute, the “Moon is the center of our program for the next decade," because, let’s face it, everyone will be going there over the following years.

In the longer term, Russia has already announced it partnered with China to look into ways to create a joint scientific moon station either on the surface or in orbit.

 
 
 
 
 

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