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Russia plans to send first spacecraft to moon in 45 years

The far side of the moon. (NASA Blueshift/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russia plans to land a spacecraft on the moon’s surface next year for the first time in more than four decades.

The country will launch Luna-25 on October 1, 2021, Igor Mitrofanov, the head of the nuclear planetology department at the Space Research Institute, said at a meeting of scientists on March 17.

Moscow last launched a spacecraft to the surface of the moon in 1976 as the Soviet Union’s space race with the United States came to an end.

Luna-25 will carry out scientific research in the polar region of the moon, including studying the properties of the soil.

According to Russia’s space program agenda, the country plans four more launches to the moon by 2028.