As the Chandrayaan-3 mission tightens its orbit around the Moon, Russia is set to launch its first moon-landing spacecraft in 47 years on Friday, August 11, 2023. The Luna-25 mission is scheduled to land on the Moon on August 23, the same day as Chandrayaan-3’s planned landing.
Luna-25 will launch from the Vosthochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East less than a month after Chandrayaan-3 launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, reports Reuters. The Russian mission will try to land on the lunar south pole just like the Indian mission, aiming for a prized destination that may hold significant quantities of ice that could be used to extract oxygen and fuel in the future. If either of the mission succeeds before the other, it will be the first one to land on the lunar south pole in human history.
Roscosmos, Russia’s ISRO counterparts, said that Luna-25 will practice soft-landing, analyse soil samples and conduct long-term scientific research on the Moon’s surface. The Chandrayaan-3 mission is carrying an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The lander and rover are carrying many scientific payloads.