Space Research Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences

Away from the Earth. Flying to the Moon

August 14, 2023
Mission Status

The Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences has completed an express analysis of telemetry and measurement data of scientific instruments aboard the Luna-25 automatic station, performed on August 13, 2023 in two sessions of the first activations at a distance of about 310 thousand km from the Earth. All instruments showed full operability and readiness for lunar exploration. Their analog and digital components and blocks worked perfectly.

The STS-L onboard television cameras produced the first images from space, which will go down in the history of Russian cosmonautics. These images show the structural elements of the Luna-25 spacecraft against the background of the Earth, from which we have already departed forever, and against the background of the Moon, to which we will soon arrive. The third picture shows the mission emblem and the onboard manipulator sampling device.

The image was taken by the camera of the STS-L complex aboard the Luna-25 spacecraft on August 13, 2023 during the flight to the Moon. The emblem of the mission and part of the LMK lunar manipulator set with a sampling device are visible (top left). Photo: IKI RAS

During the sessions, the ADRON-LR neutron and gamma detector measured the radiation background on the spacecraft, to which galactic cosmic rays make a significant contribution. These rays fill the entire interplanetary space, under their influence our instruments and future cosmonaut expeditions will have to work on the Moon. Therefore, it was extremely necessary to know the radiation background on board the spacecraft in advance, even during the flight.

In general, the express analysis of the data of the first scientific measurements in space showed that the Luna-25 automatic spacecraft is a well-designed and  reliable complex. Unlike missions of the Soviet era, the spacecraft does not have a pressurized compartment and the instruments operate in outer space. At the same time, the station systems provide the onboard scientific equipment with optimal thermal conditions and required power, control and radio communications resources.

On August 14, 2023, the Luna-25 spacecraft continues its flight to the natural satellite of the Earth in an orientation controlled by star sensors created at the IKI RAS. All systems of the spacecraft are operating normally, communication with the station is stable, and the energy balance is positive.

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