Russia has had a very difficult time landing on other planets and cosmic bodies. While Roscosmos (Russia’s space agency) has seen success in the part it plays aboard the ISS, the nation has failed to put a lander on the moon for over 50 years. Now, it’s hoping to change that with its first successful Russian lunar landing in over five decades.
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According to reports, the Russian Federation is set to launch a rocket into space on Friday, August 11. That rocket will be the first part of a mission known as Luna-25, which Russia hopes will prove successful, as two previous missions to land on cosmic bodies have both failed, with the two rockets crashing into the Pacific Ocean.
Due to the failure of previous missions, the mission will be extremely crucial for the future exploration of space in Russia. The mission will be considered successful if the lander and rocket reach the moon safely, regardless of whether the lander is able to touch down.
A successful moon land may not appear difficult. However, it is one of the most difficult locations to land. Other countries have also struggled with this idea. India has been preparing for a new attempt to land its spacecraft on the surface of the moon. So far it is going well but there are still no guarantees.
If Russia’s lunar landing mission is successful in escaping the atmosphere, then the biggest challenge will be to get the spacecraft into orbit before touching down. Drag cannot slow down the spacecraft when it is entering the thin atmosphere of the moon and heading toward its surface. As such, the spacecraft will either need to slow its descent with orbital insertions or rely on boosters to slow it as it nears the ground.
The Luna-25 lander is also known as the Luna-Glob Lander and has a robotic arm that it can use to collect surface samples from the moon and eight onboard scientific instruments. The Guardian reports that the mission is expected to last around a year, but the Russian lunar lander will only be active for two weeks or so.
The race to put landers and even humans back on the moon is heating up, especially as NASA grows closer to the liftoff of its next Artemis mission.
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