Russia is pinning its hopes for lunar colonization on Luna 25, a probe set for launch in 2025 — making it the first Russian craft to land on the Moon since 1976. Luna 25 will pave the way for an even bigger coal, a crewed landing and lunar base, reports Spaceflight Insider.
The probe, also known as the Luna-Glob lander, will land in the Boguslavsky crater near the lunar south pole and analyze the region’s regoloth. Its four television cameras will take footage of the area. Another two cameras will observe the work of the probe’s digging tool. A radioisotope thermoelectric device will provide power by converting the heat generated by the decay of plutonium-238 isotope into electricity.
“This mission is a scientific-technological one. We want to carry out scientific experiments there, but this is a technological mission in the sense that we need to return to the Moon, learn how to land, and survive the lunar night, since a lot of what was achieved in the 1970s has been forgotten,” said Vladislav Tretyako, a researcher in nuclear planetology at the Russian Space Research institute.
One of the probe’s sensors will make neutron and gamma-ray analysis of the regolith, while another instrument will measure the Moon’s exosphere plasma.
According to Spaceflight Insider, the Luna program could kick-start Russian plans to establish a lunar base in the 2030s. The base would include a solar power station, telecommunication station, technological station, long-range research rover, landing and launch area, and an orbiting satellite.