For a long time, scientists believed that the Moon is dry as a bone. Patterns that brought American astronauts and Soviet “moon” contained a small amount of water that can be easily attributed to earthly contamination. The picture began to change in the last decade of the twentieth century.
In 1990-e years the moon went us Orbiter Clementine data with its radar for the first time gave scientists reason to believe that the lunar poles may be water ice. In 1998, gamma-ray spectrometer on the Lunar Prospector probe showed that in the polar regions in the lunar soil a lot of hydrogen and it too, pointed to the water. From that moment began the Renaissance of studies of the moon to the satellite were sent numerous American, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and even the Israeli probes, scientists have a firm enough reason to believe that lunar water is really there. More about this you can read in our article “water from the moon”. But before the lunar ice should be more accessible. This is the main task of the “Luna-25” and following then lunar missions.
N+1: launch date won’t change anymore?
Igor Mitrofanov: Yes, it will be October 1, 2021, and we have a second replacement date is 30 October 2021. This date, we have identified a year or six months ago. Date agreed upon with NPO Lavochkin, and it is defined as the conditions of the flight, and the spacecraft mass.
Knowing all the problems that we have, I can say that this date is final. Previously, the situation was very varied, had a lot of problems, enough to call penalties, which some systems actually had to be developed anew. Now we have reached the level of readiness that allows you to name the date of the final.
The idea of the project, which is now called “Luna-25”, was born in 1997, after one of the biggest failures ofn cosmonautics — the loss of the probe “Mars-96”. The initial draft of the mission, which was then called “Luna-glob”, many borrowed from “Mars”. The main objective of the unit was considered to be the seismic surveys, which were supposed to produce using discharged from the orbit of the shock probes the penetrators.
On Board the “Luna-glob” was supposed to be a cassette with 10 penetrators, created on the basis of “the Martian”. They had no inhibition to fall to the lunar surface at a speed of 2.5 kilometers per second, to survive the overload of thousands of 100 g and then work through the year, creating a seismic maloperro group — distributed seismic sensor.
But then the project lost the competition to the new Mars project “Phobos-Grunt” and the astrophysics programme — a series of space telescopes “Spectrum”, under which in 2011 flew “Spektr-R”, and in 2019 — “Spektr-RG”.