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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.

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