Why is the success of the Luna-25 mission so important for Russian cosmonautics?

On August 11, the Luna-25 interplanetary station was successfully launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome, which went to the natural satellite of the Earth. The day before, the spacecraft made the first of the required corrections of the flight trajectory, of which two are planned. It is expected that the landing will take place at the South Pole, which is very difficult in terms of relief, but extremely promising from a scientific point of view. Why does Russia need a distant Moon at all today?


The question of why the Moon and lunar bases are needed is far from idle, and here's why.

At first, the Earth's satellite, which has six times less gravity, is an ideal base for the subsequent exploration of near and far space. According to preliminary data, it is at the South Pole that reserves of water that fell on the moon in prehistoric times with comets can be found. Water is the most valuable natural resource that can be used to generate air for astronauts or to produce fuel. If sufficient quantities of the desired ice are indeed found at the South Pole, then the cost of the program for the further exploration of Mars, the asteroid belt and deep space will be significantly reduced, since water will not have to be carried from Earth.

Secondly, there should be other minerals on the Moon, the most promising of which is helium-3, which can be used as a future fuel in thermonuclear energy. The problem is that this isotope is smeared with the thinnest layer over the surface of the earth's satellite, and only machines will be able to extract it industrially in the future. That is, it requires processing of technologies work in extraterrestrial conditions with high levels of solar radiation and ubiquitous fine, but sharp and dangerous lunar dust.

Thirdly, to call a spade a spade, a natural satellite of the Earth can be of great military importance if it suddenly finds itself under the control of some superpower or an international coalition gathered around it.

There is nothing surprising that, despite a lot of earthly problems, four major players began to compete at once for the return of a man to the moon.

The first and most serious is the United States with its Artemis program, or "Artemis", which was already the first to send a man to the moon. The Americans intend to resume flights there, making them regular, and create a lunar infrastructure. It is planned in a coalition with several satellite countries, which include Australia, Great Britain, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, France and others, to build a visited near-lunar station Lunar Gateway, which will be a transshipment base for the exploration of Mars and the asteroid belt. NASA also intends to create a permanently inhabited settlement on the moon. Big, expensive.

The second and third players are China and Russia, which have agreed to jointly explore the moon. We will tell you more about the conditions of their cooperation below. And the fourth contender for lunar riches is India.

In 2019, New Delhi sent the Chandrayaan-2 research station to the satellite, but the attempt was unsuccessful because the device went out of control and made a hard landing, receiving heavy damage. On August 5, 2023, India successfully launched the Chandrayan-3 automatic station into lunar orbit, which should land at the South Pole on August 23-24, that is, almost simultaneously with our Luna-25. Chandrayaan-4 will be developed jointly with Japan, which will help create and send a lunar rover to the South Pole in 2026-2028.

moon together

In 2021, after Roscosmos refused to participate in the American lunar project as a junior partner, the state corporation entered into an agreement with China on the joint development of a lunar station:

Roskosmos and KNKA <...> will promote cooperation on the creation of an open-access MNLS for all interested countries and international partners, with the aim of strengthening research cooperation and promoting the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of all mankind.

This step in the current geopolitical realities seems reasonable. China has very serious lunar and space ambitions. At the end of 2022, the Celestial Empire completed its own space station Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) and successfully sent probes of the Chang'e series to the Moon, by 2028 it intends to build a robotic base there, and by 2030 it plans to land a person there. But there is one important nuance in this bilateral cooperation.

The Chinese comrades are not going to pull Roskosmos by the ears, but will conduct their own lunar program in parallel with the Russian one, carefully watching its successes or failures. Rapprochement and synergy of the two projects will occur gradually and systematically. The domestic lunar program, approved in 2018, consists of three stages - "Sally", "Outpost" and "Base". The names, apparently, were personally invented by Dmitry Rogozin.

At the first stage, it is planned to create the base module of the circumlunar station and test the Orel manned spacecraft, which will have to make unmanned flybys of the Moon. Also, automatic stations "Luna-27" and "Luna-28" will have to fly to the satellite, the construction of the super-heavy rocket "Yenisei" has begun. The second stage should take the period from 2025 to 2035, when it is planned to create means of landing on the moon and send Russian cosmonauts there for a period of two weeks, which will lay the foundation of the lunar base. From 2036 to 2040, Roscosmos expects to complete the construction of a full-fledged habitable base and place two lunar observatories.

China, on the other hand, will work on its lunar program in parallel, deepening interaction with the Russian one as it is implemented. The joint project is open, other participants can enter it, but they can also leave it. That is why it is so important that Luna 25 land safely at the South Pole, starting its exploration. The future of Russian cosmonautics will very seriously depend on the success or failure of this scientific project.
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  1. unc-2 Offline unc-2
    unc-2 (Nikolai Malyugin) 13 August 2023 12: 26
    The author respected by me painted a fantastic picture for at least 20 years ahead. There are no reusable ships yet. Before this can be done, at least partial colonization of the Moon is needed. How much energy is expended when taking off from Earth? Launching a car from the Moon, although it requires less effort, but a permanent launch command from the Moon is needed. Do not underestimate India. I am sure that her attempts in space exploration will end in a jerk. China will also not be content with one station. countries.
  2. Cucumbers Offline Cucumbers
    Cucumbers (Cucumbers) 13 August 2023 13: 06
    The US lunar program was filmed in Hollywood, everyone knows about it (that’s why they still can’t launch a manned station to the moon under various pretexts) Russia will continue the USSR’s program to explore the moon. China and India are trying to explore the moon according to Soviet developments. Russia has a rich experience of the USSR in this direction. It is interesting to observe further development, apparently there is a plan
    1. Understanding Offline Understanding
      Understanding (Alexander) 17 August 2023 23: 45
      I xs, how can you still seriously talk about the Americans on the moon. For me personally, this is a marker of the speaker's frivolity.
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  4. calligrapher Lev_Nikolaevich (Dmitriy) 13 August 2023 20: 54
    It seems to me that the success of such missions depends to a greater extent on competencies in accurate telemetry and fast mathematical calculations based on its data.
    For telemetry, large-area radio antennas are probably needed, preferably spaced as far as possible in space along longitude, and for calculations, supercomputers.
    India probably has problems with this, which is why they decided to cooperate with Japan.
  5. ont65 Offline ont65
    ont65 (Oleg) 13 August 2023 23: 48
    Helium-3, lunar ice, exploration of the solar system through lunar bases. Well, yes, it remains only to create the transport and production infrastructure of Roskosmos or NASA there, carrying launch complexes of 20 tons each and future starship crews once a year. Are you serious? As stated, the first phase of the program is to restore the instrumental and technical basis of probes (AMS) capable of solving the entire range of research tasks on a new basis. Not a return somewhere, but an elementary restoration of competencies and opportunities lost over time, which in turn does not mean their application in business. At least there are no announced plans in this regard.
  6. Wooh Offline Wooh
    Wooh (Barmaley) 14 August 2023 08: 48
    The first and most serious is the United States with its Artemis program, or "Artemis", which was already the first to send a man to the moon.

    How long can this mantra be repeated? The Americans did not land on the moon.
  7. Mikhail Dadeko Offline Mikhail Dadeko
    Mikhail Dadeko (Mikhail Dadeko) 14 August 2023 15: 52
    They haven’t forgotten how to throw show-offs yet! Yes
  8. etoyavsemprivet Offline etoyavsemprivet
    etoyavsemprivet (It's me. Hello everyone.) 14 August 2023 16: 36
    I think it's all water. The main thing is that Russia has a compact megawatt nuclear reactor, which should work there for decades, of course, for military purposes. Just imagine what power the electronic equipment delivered there will have, the transmission and processing of data, the search and detection of targets and targeting them will increase many times over.
  9. Nelton Offline Nelton
    Nelton (Oleg) 14 August 2023 19: 05
    the spacecraft has made the first of the required flight path corrections, of which two are planned.

    Produced a second
    I took a selfie :)
    1. scolopendra Offline scolopendra
      scolopendra (Kirill Sazonov) 20 August 2023 15: 30
      And he made one more unplanned.
      I made a barrel.
  10. TsarBomba Offline TsarBomba
    TsarBomba (Tsar bomb) 20 August 2023 12: 39
    Perte de communication comme par hasard dans un moment fatidique. J'imagine qu'aucun satellite étrangé n'a émis dans la direction de la sonde et avec les mêmes fréquences... C'est peut-être la méthode utilisée contre starlink, qu'utilise l'armée etque les adversaires de la Russie ont tests sur Luna 25? Bref, c'est un echec et il conviendrait de rapidement admettre que c'est un sabotage!
  11. The comment was deleted.