After the start of its first moon mission in almost 50 years, the space nation Russia has now published a photo of the surface of the moon. A camera complex of the "Luna-25" probe took the picture from the moon's orbit and sent it to Earth, the Russian space agency Roskosmos announced on Thursday in Moscow. Among other things, the Zeeman crater near the south pole on the back of the moon, which is not visible from Earth and is of interest to researchers, can be seen.
Roskosmos recalled that the first images of the far side of the moon were taken as early as 1959 with the Soviet probe "Luna-3". The new mission is the first since the launch of the last Soviet lunar probe, Luna-24, in 1976.
On Wednesday, "Luna-25" reached the orbit of the moon after more than five days of flight time. The systems of the probe worked normally, the connection was stable, it said. On the orbit, the probe is currently looking for an ideal landing site.
According to Roskosmos, the 1,800-kilogram probe is scheduled to touch down near the moon's south pole on August 21. One task is to search for water. The first Russian lunar mission in almost 50 years was launched on Friday, August 11 from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Amur region.
"Luna-25" is part of the Russian lunar program, which envisages building a space station on the celestial body by 2040. Actually, the new probe should have been on the way for a long time. The first planned launch date for a lunar probe was 2012. Last year it was supposed to launch in May, but the mission was delayed due to technical problems. Roskosmos originally worked with the European space agency Esa on the moon program. However, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, ESA ended cooperation with Moscow.