Luna-Glob (Russian: Луна-Глоб, meaning Lunar sphere) is a Moon exploration programme by Roscosmos meant to progress toward the creation of a fully robotic lunar base. When completed, the programme will continue with crewed lunar missions, starting with a crewed orbiter spacecraft called Orel.
The programme is based on plans dating back to 1997. Due to the 1998 Russian financial crisis however, the programme's first mission, the Luna 25 lander, was put on hold, only to be revived a few years later. Initially scheduled for launch in 2012 by a Soyuz-2 rocket, the first mission has been delayed many times, first to 2014, then to 2015 and 2016 and 2018 and 2019. Russia's Roscosmos approved a model of the Luna 25 lander in 2017.
The Luna-Glob programme is a continuation of the Soviet Union Luna programme that sent at least 24 orbiters and landers between 1959 and 1976 to the Moon, of which fifteen were successful. The last mission was Luna 24, launched on 9 August 1976.
Initially, the first Luna-Glob mission was planned as orbiter with ground penetrating sensors. Four Japanese-built penetrators inherited from the Lunar-A were to be used, each 45 kg (100 lb), including 14 kg (31 lb) for the penetrator proper. Furthermore, seismic experiments were planned, including the use of four penetrators, which will slam into the lunar surface equipped to detect seismic signals. These experiments are expected to help clarify the origin of the Moon. Two of the penetrators are planned to land near the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 landing sites, taking advantage of seismic data gathered there from 1969 to 1974. The payload of the orbiter will total 120 kg (260 lb) and include astrophysics experiments, dust monitors, plasma sensors, including the LORD astronomy payload, designed to study ultra-high-energy cosmic rays.
Luna-Resurs (Luna 27) was initially planned as a joint orbiter-rover mission (the orbiter was to be the Indian Chandrayaan-2) that would have featured a 58 kg Russian rover and lander, as part of the cancelled International Lunar Network. This joint mission would have landed in the Moon's south pole, examine a crater and operate for up to one year. Because the loss of the Fobos-Grunt in 2011 which was planned as a test for the landing system, Russia cited its inability to provide the lander and rover within the proposed time. India then decided to develop the lunar mission independently.
List of missions
|Late September 2022||South pole lander||Soyuz 2.1b|
|2024||Lunar orbiter||Soyuz 2.1b|
(Luna Resurs Lander)
|August 2025||South pole lander||Soyuz 2.1b|
|2027–2028||South pole lander and sample-return||Soyuz 2.1b|
|2028||South pole rover, and sample-return||Angara A5/KVTK|
Future lunar base
It was planned in 2008 that Luna-Glob, a "robotic proving ground", would be followed by a robotic base, known in Russian as Lunny Poligon - or Lunar Range, and this base would progress with the construction of a habitable lunar base that would have several components: solar power station, telecommunication station, technological station, scientific station, long-range research rover, landing and launch area, and a telecom orbiting satellite.
When the robotic phase is completed, the programme will continue with crewed lunar missions in the 2030s, starting with a crewed orbiter mission on a spacecraft called Orel. As of 2017, Russia is planning to begin building the lunar base in the 2030s.
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