• For full details of graphics available/in preparation, see Menu -> Planners
 Russia heads back to the moon infographic
Graphic shows Lunar 25 mission


Russia set to return to the moon

By Jordi Bou

August 11, 2023 - The Luna 25 mission – Russia’s first trip to the moon in almost 50 years – aims to explore the south polar region, eyed by the U.S. and other nations as a site for future lunar bases.

The long-delayed spacecraft is expected to be launch aboard the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle on Aug 11.

If everything goes to plan, the spacecraft will land near the Boguslavsky crater at the Moon’s south pole, a region thought to be rich in water ice.

The lander is expected to study surface regolith and exospheric dust and particles, for one year.

The Soviet Union became the first nation to soft land a spacecraft on the Moon in 1966 with its Luna-9 mission. The USSR achieved six more successful lunar landings over the next 10 years
before shutting down the program after the 1976 Luna 24 mission.

A successful Luna 25 touchdown would represent a major milestone in Russia’s quest to revive its lunar programme.

Russia and China are working on a long-term plan to set up a permanent base on the moon by 2028.

PUBLISHED: 17/07/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: NASA