Video: Russia launches the first lunar probe in nearly 50 years

Russia has just successfully launched a lunar lander, marking the country's race against India, the US and China in this celestial exploration race.

At 2:11 a.m. local time, a Soyuz 2.1v rocket carrying the Luna-25 probe left the launch pad at the Vostochny spaceport. After about an hour or so, the spacecraft separated from the booster, left Earth's orbit, and headed for the Moon.

It is expected that Luna-25 will take 5 days to fly to the Moon, in the next 5-7 days it will orbit the Earth's natural satellite and land on the south pole of the Moon, near the crater Boguslawsky in August 21st. After that, Luna-25 will operate on the lunar surface for at least a year, analyzing surface dust and rocks and conducting many other scientific studies.

If successful, Russia will become the first country to send a gentle landing device to the south pole of the celestial body. Previous expeditions have landed instruments in the equatorial region of the Moon.

Video: Russia launches the first lunar probe in nearly 50 years Picture 1

Luna-25 is the first lunar probe built in modern Russia, the components are completely made in the country.

The 1.6-ton Luna-25 ship consists of two main parts. One is a landing platform equipped with a propulsion system and landing gear. The second is a 30kg non-pressurized instrument box filled with scientific instruments, radiators, heat sources, electronics, photovoltaic and radioisotope batteries, antennas and cameras.