VLADIVOSTOK, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia plans to launch its Luna-25 moon probe from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far Eastern region of Amur on August 22, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday.
This would be Russia's first mission to the Moon in 46 years, said Alexander Mitkin, Deputy General Designer for Electrical Systems at NPO Lavochkin, a spacecraft building factory where Luna-25 was made.
The last lunar mission, Luna-24, was undertaken by the former Soviet Union in August 1976, which proved presence of water in samples brought back from the Moon.
According to the report, the main tasks of Luna-25 would include testing soft landing technologies in the moon's circumpolar region and conducting contact studies of the lunar south pole.
Luna-25 marks the reactivation of Russia's moon program. After Luna-25, the Luna-26 mission for mapping is expected to lift off in 2024, Luna-27 for soil exploration in 2025, Luna-28 for collecting lunar soil and working out the landing scheme for Russian cosmonauts in 2027-2028. ■