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Russia is set to launch its first mission to the Moon in 50 years

Image shows the Luna-25, a lunar landing craft that Russia is planning to launch to the Moon this week.
Image shows the Luna-25, a lunar landing craft that Russia is planning to launch to the Moon this week. Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Euronews and Reuters
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NASA isn’t the only space agency focussed on missions to the Moon. Later this week, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, will launch its own lunar landing vehicle.


Despite multiple delays, Russia is forging ahead with its own solo space exploits with its first lunar mission in 50 years scheduled to launch on Friday.

In a statement, Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, said the Luna-25 craft set for launch on August 11 will practice soft landing, analyse soil samples, and conduct long-term scientific research on the Moon’s surface.

The launch of Russia’s first lunar mission since 1976 will be completed without equipment from the European Space Agency (ESA) which ended cooperation with Roscosmos in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia said at the time that it would replace the components with Russian-made instruments.

The four-legged landing craft weighs approximately 800 kg and will land on the Moon at the lunar south pole instead of the more common landing location near the lunar equator.

Roscosmos said that a Soyuz rocket had been assembled at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East for the lunar lander’s launch.

Speaking at the Vostochny cosmodrome last year, Russian president Vladimir Putin said the Soviet Union was the first nation to put a man in space in 1961 despite "total" sanctions.

He insisted Moscow would develop its lunar programme despite current Western sanctions.

"We are guided by the ambition of our ancestors to move forward, despite any difficulties and any attempts to prevent us in this movement from the outside," Putin said at the time.

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.

Video editor • Aisling Ní Chúláin

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