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Luna-Glob (Russian: Луна-Глоб, meaning Lunar sphere) is a Moon exploration programme by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) meant to progress toward the creation of a fully robotic lunar base.

The programme is based on plans dating back to 1997. Due to financial problems, 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[1] by a Soyuz-2 rocket,[2] the first mission has been delayed many times, first to 2014, then to 2015[3][4] and 2016[5][6] and 2018[7] and 2019.[8] Russia's Roscosmos approved a model of the Luna 25 lander in 2017.[9][10]

As of August 2018, Luna 25 is planned to be launched in 2021, Luna 26 in 2022, Luna 27 in 2023, Luna 28 in 2024, and Lunas 29, 30, 31 in 2026.[11]



The Luna-Glob programme is a continuation of the Soviet Union Luna programme that sent at least twenty-four 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.[12] 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.[13]

Luna-Resurs (Luna 27) was initially planned as a joint orbiter-rover mission (the orbiter was to be the Indian Chandrayaan-2) that will feature a 58 kg Russian Polar Moon Rover and lander, as part of the International Lunar Network.[14] This mission will land in Moon's south pole, examine a crater and operate for up to one year. The six wheeled, solar powered rover will land near one of the poles and will survive for a year, roving up to 150 km at a speed of 360 m/h.[14] 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 within the proposed time. India then decided to develop the lunar mission independently.[15] Next lander will carry a large 400 kg rover capable of in-situ soil analysis. Lander with a 400 kg ascent stage will return up to 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of surface and rock samples.[16]

List of missionsEdit

Unlike their predecessors, the new Luna missions are targeted at the lunar poles.[17] As of 2017, the next missions have been announced:[18][19]

Spacecraft Proposed
Notes Launch vehicle
Luna 25
(Luna-Glob lander)
2021[11] a south pole lander Soyus 2.1b
Luna 26
(Luna-Glob orbiter)
2022[11] a lunar orbiter Soyus 2.1b
Luna 27
2023[11] a south pole lander[20][21] Soyus 2.1b
Luna 28
2024[11] a south pole lander and sample-return Angara
Luna 29
2026[11] a south pole rover [22][23] Angara-A5/KVTK[11]
Luna 30
Luna 31

Future lunar baseEdit

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,[24] 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.[25][26] This project was planned for after 2020, with an expected completion date of 2037.[27]

As of 2017, Russia is planning to begin building the lunar base by 2030. Initially, the Moon base would be inhabited by no more than 4 people, with their number later rising to maximum of 12 people.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fundamental Space Studies". Russian Federal Space Agency. Archived from the original on 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  2. ^ "Lavochkin begins phase B work for Luna-Glob 1 orbiter". Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  3. ^ Российский зонд Луна-Глоб отправится исследовать Луну в 2015 году
  4. ^ "First Russian moon mission delayed". Space Exp. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
  5. ^ Roscosmos: Fundamental space researches
  6. ^ "Future planetary missions". Space Exp. Retrieved 2013-10-17.
  7. ^ Russia will launch Luna spacecraft in 2018
  8. ^ "Russian Moon missions face three-year delay". Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Russia presenting model of Luna-25 Moon exploration spacecraft at Le Bourget Air Show 2015". TASS (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  10. ^ "Roscosmos Approves Luna-25 Space Station Model in Moon Exploration Project". Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pietrobon, Steven (11 August 2018). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Russia Plans Ambitious Robotic Lunar Mission". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  13. ^ Luna-Glob at Skyrocket
  14. ^ a b Luna-Resurs at RussianSpaceweb
  15. ^ "Chandrayaan-2: India to go it alone". The Hindu. 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  16. ^ "Program of the Moon Exploration by Automatic Space Complexes". ESA. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  17. ^ Russian Moon exploration programme. Russian Research Institute (IKI). 2017.
  18. ^ Russian Moon missions face three-year delay
  19. ^ The vision of the Russian Space Agency on the robotic settlements in the Moon. (PDF). Maxim Litva. ROSCOSMOS. 2016.
  20. ^ Space Operations: Contributions from the Global Community. Craig Cruzen, Michael Schmidhuber, Young H. Lee, Bangyeop Kim. Springer, Mar 30, 2017 - Technology & Engineering - 718 pages.
  21. ^ Emerging Space Markets. Stella Tkatchova. Springer, September 19, 2017 - Technology & Engineering - 139 pages.
  22. ^ Robotic Missions of Russian Lunar Program. (PDF). Alexander Zakharov & Ilia Kuznetsov.
  23. ^ Destination Moon: Russia to Launch New Wave of Lunar Robots. Leonard David, Space. April 1, 2013.
  24. ^ Luna Grunt. Anatoly Zak, Russian Space Web. Accessed 19 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Russian project Luna-Glob: goals and status" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  26. ^ "RETURN TO THE MOON: NEXT STEPS" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  27. ^ "Russia To Build Lunar Base By 2037", Xinhua, 26 January 2011.
  28. ^ "Russia will send 12 cosmonauts to the moon by 2030". Mail Online. 22 June 2016.

External linksEdit