MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. A study of ice formations on the South Pole of the Moon, planned as part of Russia’s Luna-25 robotic moon mission, will provide additional information on how the Moon was formed, the Moscow Planetarium’s scientific director, Faina Rubleva, has told TASS.
"We hope that the mission would shed some light on how the Moon was formed. At present, there are at least two different theories. New data may help to confirm the current prevailing theory. The analysis of ice on the South Pole of the Moon will also allow to theorize on how water appeared on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite and whether this process was linked to the emergence of water on the Earth," the scientist said.
In accordance with the first theory, the Moon was formed the Moon when the Earth collided with another small planet, about the size of the planet Mars, at the early stages of its existence (around 4.5-5 billion years ago).
"This theory was prevalent for quite a while. Another theory, which is gaining the center stage at this point, is that the Earth and the Moon were formed as a result of one process. Russian scientists believe that the theory of the Moon’s formation from the primary proto-planet substance, not from the Earth’s mantle, appears to be more realistic than the impact theory," she continued.
"If the second theory is supported by studying ice on the Moon’s surface, it will be possible to theoretize that water appeared on the surface of the Earth and the Moon at approximately the same time," she added.
The launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Luna-25 automatic lunar station is scheduled for 2:10 a.m. Moscow time on August 11.
The Luna-25 automatic station is set to become the first domestic spacecraft in Russia’s modern history to travel to the Earth’s natural satellite. In July, the automatic station was delivered to the Vostochny spaceport in the Amur Region in the Russian Far East. The projects aims to send an automatic probe for studies in the Moon’s South Pole. The lander is expected to touch down in the area of the Boguslawsky crater.
The Roscosmos press office earlier reported that the mission’s launch had been rescheduled from July for August to achieve the desired reliability of the mission’s implementation.