Russia to Launch Lunar Mission Friday, First in Nearly 50 Years

Voice of America News reports: “Russia said Monday it plans to launch a lunar lander this week after multiple delays, hoping to return to the Moon for the first time in nearly fifty years.

Russian space agency Roscosmos said it had scheduled the launch of the Luna-25 lander for the early hours of Friday.

With the lunar mission, Russia’s first since 1976, Moscow is seeking to restart and build on the Soviet Union’s pioneering space program.

The launch is the first mission of Moscow’s new lunar project and comes as President Vladimir Putin looks to strengthen cooperation in space with China after ties with the West broke down following the start of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine last year.

Engineers have assembled a Soyuz rocket at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East for the launch of the lander, Roscosmos said.

‘The Luna-25 will have to practise soft landing, take and analyze soil samples and conduct long-term scientific research,’ Roscosmos said in a statement…”

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