According to the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Moscow’s Luna-25 lander will make a grand entry into the moon’s orbit on Wednesday, becoming the first such Russian mission in nearly 50 years.
Russia entered the race to the moon last week with the launch of the Luna-25 lander — the country’s first moon mission since 1976 — in an effort to relaunch and restore the country’s pioneering space programme.
The lander, which will spin 100 kilometres (62 miles) above the moon’s surface, is scheduled to settle on the north side of the Boguslawsky crater on the lunar south pole on Monday.
According to Roscosmos, the lander’s cameras have already captured distant photos of the Earth and moon from space, as reported by AFP.
The lander, which weighs roughly 800 kilogrammes (1,764 pounds), was sent into space on Friday by a Soyuz rocket from Russia’s Far East’s Vostochny Cosmodrome.
Furthermore, the lander is scheduled to stay on the moon for a year, performing activities such as collecting samples and assessing soil.
The mission comes as Russia’s long-standing space collaboration with the West appears to be in jeopardy, as Moscow moves ahead with its offensive in Ukraine.
Despite the European Space Agency (ESA) stating that it will not work with Moscow on future missions due to its activities in Ukraine, Russia declared that it would proceed with its own lunar plans.