For a number of a long time within the second half of the twentieth century, the US and the Soviet Union launched a collection of missions into house. These ranged from crewed flights into orbit to missions to the floor of the Moon — and, after a protracted interval of house exploration being oriented away from the Moon, a second period of lunar exploration has begun. NASA’s Artemis program is probably the highest-profile instance of this, but it surely’s removed from the one one.
And, identical to final century’s efforts to voyage to the Moon, Russia can also be making its personal presence felt. As Jonathan O’Callaghan writes at Nature, the primary Russian mission to the Moon since 1976 is now underway. At Vostochny Cosmodrome, Luna 25 started its voyage into house on August 10, 2023. O’Callaghan notes that the mission will take 5 days to succeed in the Moon’s orbit — and is slated to land close to the south pole of the Moon on August 21.
One factor that makes this period of lunar exploration totally different from that of earlier a long time? There are much more nations within the combine. India and China even have plans to ship missions to the Moon, with the previous’s Chandrayaan-3 craft already in lunar orbit. A non-public mission to the Moon was set to land there earlier this yr, however the craft didn’t achieve touchdown efficiently.
As Nature stories, the first purpose of the mission includes trying to find ice under the lunar floor. The presence of lunar ice may pave the best way for larger-scale human habitation — and, sure, in case you’re watching For All Mankind, this most likely sounds very acquainted. (Additionally, it is best to actually be watching For All Mankind.) We’ll know extra later this month, when Luna 25 reaches its vacation spot and begins the following section of its mission.
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