MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Russia plans to deliver the Luna-25 landing module to the Earth’s natural satellite in 2019 and after 2025 it intends to launch stations that will work in a lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with RBC TV Channel aired on Tuesday.
"As for the Moon, we are going to send the Luna-25 station. This will be a small landing module, which is due to land on the Moon," Rogozin said.
This mission will be carried out to assess the engineering and design solutions for large lunar probes, he said.
"After 2025, this will be followed by stations, including those that will operate in the Moon’s orbit, and the landing modules that will descent to the Moon and enter its soil," the vice-premier added.
The Russian deputy prime minister said at the same time that Russia would not impose cooperation in the lunar program on the United States.
"Of course, cooperation would be good in this regard but not at any price: we will surely not be apprentices," Rogozin said.
As was reported earlier, Russia plans to dispatch the Lunar-25 research landing module to the Earth’s natural satellite in 2019, the Luna-26 orbiter in 2021 and the Luna-27 lander in 2022.
The Luna-25 project aims to launch an automatic probe for research in the Moon’s South Pole. The module is expected to land in the Boguslavsky crater to analyze the composition of regolith, the lunar dust, carry out stereo-photography for preparing the surface’s 3D map and identify the lander’s coordinates with millimeter accuracy using a laser angled reflector.
The last Soviet lunar mission was dispatched in 1976 when the Luna-24 probe made a soft landing, took soil samples and returned them to the Earth.
Russian scientists have chosen two possible sites for the Luna-25 research mission to land on the Moon’s surface, the press office of the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences said earlier.
"Overall, two landing sites were chosen in accordance with engineering and scientific data. These are the basic area located to the north of the Boguslavsky southern polar crater with the coordinates of about 69.5 degrees south latitude and 43.5 degrees east longitude, and the reserve area to the southwest of the Manzinus crater with the coordinates of about 68.8 degrees south latitude and 21.2 degrees east longitude, correspondingly. The delay in the time of landing in the reserve area is about two days compared to the landing in the basic area," the Institute said.