Luna 25: Russia launches its first lunar lander after 47 years

Russia successfully launched the Luna-25 lunar lander early on Friday, embarking on a mission to the Moon after 1976, to explore the south pole of Earth's natural satellite.

Russia launches its first lunar lander in nearly 50 years. Photo courtesy: IBNS

The station, which does not have a return capsule, was launched by a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast of Russia's Far East.

Nine minutes after the lift-off, the Fregat upper stage with the Luna-25 station separated from the third stage of the rocket.

About one hour later, Luna-25 separated from the Fregat upper stage and successfully entered the flight path to the Moon, marking the successful completion of the first stage of its mission.

The launch took place four weeks after India sent up its Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander, which is scheduled to reach the Moon's south pole on August 23.

Roscosmos has said the two missions, Luna-25 and Chandrayaan-3, will not collide as they have planned different landing areas.

"There is no danger that they interfere with each other or collide. There is enough space for everyone on the moon," Roscosmos has been quoted by various media.