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Russia’s Luna 25 spacecraft captures first image of Moon surface

According to Roscosmos, the image shows the southern polar crater Zeeman on the far side of the Moon

MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. The Russian Luna-25 spacecraft has taken the first image of the Moon surface after entering the lunar orbit, Roscosmos told reporters.

"The Luna-25 spacecraft, flying in a circular orbit as the Moon's artificial satellite, has taken pictures of the lunar surface with television cameras of the STS-L system. The image, taken today at 08:23 Moscow time, shows the southern polar crater Zeeman on the far side of the Moon. The coordinates of the crater center are 75 degrees south and 135 degrees west," the state corporation said.

Roscosmos said the Zeeman crater is of great interest to researchers. Its rim rises eight kilometers above its relatively flat floor.

"Also, the Luna-25 spacecraft today carried out observations with the help of the ADRON-LR and PML devices that had been built by the Russian Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the ARIES-L device that had been built by the Russian Space Research Institute in cooperation with the Astron Electronics company. Measurements were performed on fluxes of gamma rays and neutrons emitted from the Moon surface, and the parameters of the space plasma and gas-dust exosphere in the lunar orbit were obtained," the state corporation said.

The Luna 25 mission

The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Luna-25 automatic probe was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome at 2:10 a.m. Moscow time on August 11. On August 12 and 14, the automatic probe adjusted its flight path twice. The apparatus entered a near-lunar orbit on August 16, and on August 21 it is expected to make a soft landing on the surface of the Moon.

The Luna-25’s primary mission is to test soft landing technology. It may become the first apparatus to land at the South Pole of the Earth’s natural satellite. The station will explore for natural resources, including water, and study the internal structure of the Moon as well as investigate the impact of cosmic rays and electromagnetic radiation on the Moon’s surface.

The craft is equipped with several cameras that will capture a time-lapse film of the landing and an HDR panorama of the Earth’s natural satellite. The Luna-25 will conduct pre-programmed surveys as well as take images of the Moon on command from Earth.