Russia says Luna-25 mission entered lunar orbit

Russia said on Wednesday that its lunar lander entered the orbit of the Moon five days after its launch.

“Automatic station ‘Luna-25,’ created in the Scientific and Production Association named after S. A. Lavochkin, entered the orbit of the Moon,” a statement by the press service of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said in Moscow.

The statement said that two engine activations were made in order to place the lander into orbit, which it said took place at 12:03 p.m. Moscow time (0903GMT).

It added that the Luna-25 systems are functioning normally, while the connection with the lander is stable.

Luna-25 was launched on Aug. 11 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, located around 3,400 miles (5,500 kilometers) from Moscow, using a Soyuz-2.1b rocket.

It will conduct research on the Moon’s south pole for approximately one year, aiming to search for water sources as well as studying space rays and electromagnetic emissions on the lunar surface.

The lunar mission, the first since 1976, is competing with India, which launched its Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander in July.

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