After a 45-year hiatus and a two-year delay, the launch of Luna 25, the first Russian spacecraft to return to the surface of the Moon , has been set for October 1, 2021 (coronavirus through).
The Luna-25 project aims to launch an automatic probe for research at the South Pole of the Moon.
Luna 24 was the last spacecraft launched to the Moon by the Soviet Union. Its launch took place on August 9, 1976 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The next spacecraft was originally named the Luna-Glob lander but was renamed Luna 25 to differentiate it from the Soviet Luna program of the 1970s.
As Igor Mitrofánov , head of the Center for Nuclear Planetology at the Institute for Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explains:
The main date for the launch of the spacecraft is scheduled for October 1, the additional date – for October 30, 2021 (…) That is why the name of our spacecraft, Luna 25, continues the numbering of the Russian lunar missions of the last century.
The module is expected to land in the Boguslavsky crater to analyze the composition of the regolith, the moondust, perform a stereo photograph to prepare the three-dimensional map of the surface and identify the coordinates of the lander with millimeter precision using an angled laser reflector.