MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. The launch of the Luna-25 robotic station to the Moon, which is to become the first lunar mission in the history of modern Russia, has been postponed from July 13 until August, the press office of Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos said.
"It was established that it would be appropriate to launch the Luna-25 spacecraft in August 2023," the press service said on Tuesday.
According to the Russian space corporation, the spacecraft is now going through the final cycle of its ground tests.
"Statistic simulation of the mission’s key stage - a soft landing on the lunar surface - is now nearing completion," a Roscosmos spokesperson said.
The Luna-25 is to become the first domestic spacecraft in Russia’s modern history to land on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite. The lunar mission will be launched atop a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with a Fregat booster from the Vostochny space center in the Russian Far East. Under the lunar project, the Luna-25 automatic station will be launched for studies in the area of the lunar south pole. The lander is set to touch down in the area of the Boguslawsky crater.
The launch was tentatively scheduled for 2022. Roscosmos chief Yury Borisov said in September 2022 that the mission had been postponed until 2023. The space corporation’s press service said the delay was due to a fault in the spacecraft’s Doppler velocity and distance device. In December 2022, Roscosmos told TASS that the device had successfully passed quality tests and had been installed to the spacecraft.
Roscosmos press service told TASS in February 2023 that the mission would begin on July 13. The spacecraft’s manufacturer, the Lavochkin Research and Production Association, told TASS in March that the spacecraft would be taken to the launch facility in early June.
The last domestic Luna-24 automatic probe was launched in 1976. The mission brought 170 grams of lunar soil to Earth.