Russia’s space agency Roscosmos provided an update on Sunday from the ongoing Luna-25 mission, confirming the automatic probe has successfully switched on its scientific equipment.
- “All systems of the automatic station are working normally, the connection with it is stable, and the energy balance is positive,” Roscosmos said in a statement. The probe switched on its scientific equipment, it confirmed, with ground control receiving telemetry showing all systems are functioning properly.
- “The first samples of data collected during the flight to the Moon have been received, and the project’s scientific team has begun processing them,” the space agency added.
Luna-25 became the first Moon mission for modern Russia, taking its name from the Soviet-era Luna program.
- A total of 24 probes were launched between 1958 and 1976, achieving multiple important milestones.
The new mission, should it be successful, is set to land the first man-made object on the Moon’s rugged south-polar region.
- All previous probes have landed in the equatorial regions of the satellite, which are significantly easier to get to. The probe will take samples of the Moon’s regolith at the landing site, and will also run multiple long-term scientific experiments.
The mission is expected to land on the Moon by August 21, around two days ahead of India’s fresh attempt to conquer the satellite’s polar mountains.
That country’s mission, Chandrayaan-3, is already in the Moon’s orbit and is expected to descend onto its surface by August 23.
- The previous attempt to land in the polar region of the Moon was undertaken by India in 2019, resulting in a catastrophic failure and the loss of the Chandrayaan-2 mission and its lander, Vikram.