RUSSIA LAUNCHES LUNA 25 LANDER
Maui is burning, the Quislings in charge of "the West" are betraying their countries, doubling down on a sanctions war against Russia they cannot win, and willing to fight that war to the last drop of Ukrainian blood; the western economies are a trash heap of "financial instruments" and - surprise surprise! - the West has discovered that it cannot sustain a major industrial war against Russia because it shipped its manufacturing capacity overseas decades ago, so, too bad for the Ukraine which chose to believe all those empty promises about arms aid that it can't even provide enough ammunition for.
Amid this geopolitical chaos, Russia has chosen to return to the Moon with a soft lander probe called Luna 25, according to this article shared by T.S.:
The purpose is to search for and hopefully find water ice near the lunar South Pole, which if found would greatly facilitate any permanent human presence there:
Russia has launched uncrewed spacecraft to the Moon’s south pole — its first lunar mission in 47 years. If successful, the mission would be the first to land in the region, and could mark the start of considerable activity there from multiple countries and private companies.
“It’s an area where we might expect to see increased concentrations of water ice,” says Simeon Barber, a planetary scientist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. “As you go further towards the pole, it gets colder and the potential for water ice increases.”
Luna 25 launched at 11.11 p.m. UTC on a Soyuz rocket on 10 August from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia — marking a move away from Russia’s dependence on Kazakhstan, which hosts its main launch site, the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It will take around five days for the spacecraft to reach a 100-kilometre orbit around the Moon. The landing attempt is scheduled for 21 August at the 100-kilometre-wide Boguslawsky crater, about 500 kilometres from the Moon’s south pole.
Notably, everyone who is anyone appears to be in a race for the lunar South Pole:
This is the first of many missions planned for the south pole. India’s Chandrayaan-3 will attempt to land in the region on 23 August. China plans to send a rover there in 2026, and NASA’s Artemis programme, which will attempt to return humans to the Moon for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972, is also focusing on the south pole. As part of Artemis, several US companies are set to attempt landings there in the coming years.
The question is why did Russia choose now of all times, with the "home front" - planet Earth - being such a geopolitical mess, thanks to the Neocon regimes in charge of "the West"? The article gives one answer, an answer that in my opinion is perfectly unbelievable:
Luna 25 is “an opportunity to steal the march on other people get some positive publicity,” says Roger Launius, NASA’s former chief historian.
A big publicity stunt? Sorry, I'm not buying. Russia doesn't go to the expense to engineer a lunar lander and then the expense to launch it just for a publicity stunt. This is not the 1950s and Luna 25 isn't Sputnik.
Then there's the "search for ice" explanation, with the usual bows to human habitation and rocket fuel:
Orbital data since the 1990s suggests the Moon’s poles contain sizeable quantities of water ice, which, if accessible, could be a valuable resource for future human missions. “You can generate hydrogen and oxygen from it which could be used to produce either drinking water, breathable air, or even to produce rocket fuel,” says Nico Dettman, Lunar Exploration Group Leader at the European Space Agency. That could make the Moon “a stepping stone for further destinations” in the Solar System.
But that explanation is a bit wanting too:
Luna 25’s main instrument is a robotic arm that will attempt to dig up to 50 centimetres into the floor of the Boguslawsky crater to look for signs of water ice. Barber had been part of a European team that would have collaborated with Russia on these activities and a planned follow-up mission, Luna 27, but the collaboration ended last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
But the Russian mission striking ice at Boguslawsky is “pretty unlikely”, because temperatures in the crater are too high, says Margaret Landis, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. More promising might be a smaller and more deeply shadowed crater within Boguslawsky, but it’s unclear if Russia could attempt a landing here. (Roscosmos declined Nature’s request for interview.)
So what is going on? What's Russia's real motivation?
I strongly suspect that it's a physics-related explanation, and indeed, the article implies as much:
Luna 25 will also image the surface, study the interaction between the solar wind and the Moon, and deploy a laser reflector to precisely measure the Earth–Moon distance. Providing the landing goes smoothly, the craft is expected to operate for one year.
The interaction between the solar wind and the Moon? To me, this implies that, for whatever reason, Russia is (suddenly?) interested in the interaction between the solar wind and the Kordilewski dust plasma cloud that hovers between the Earth and the Moon, and that perhaps the Luna probe will be taking all sorts of data not only on the Moon, but on the way to the Moon. Notably, the probe will be orbited for a few days before a landing is attempted, and that strongly suggests to me that the real purposes involve some physics of the Earth-Luna-Sun system, as much as it involves a search for water ice. Indeed, part of that orbital mission appears to be a mapping mission. And for a bit of off-the-end-of-the-twig high octane speculation, perhaps Luna 25 also has as a hidden goal to detect the remnants of the damage caused by NASA's infamous "L-CROSS" "lander". Remember that one? NASA's big build-up to literally smash a "lander" into the very same south polar region of the Moon in order - we were told - to examine the debris kicked up by the collision to look for water and other interesting things. Remember how they told us the collision might even be visible from Earth? "Look up everyone! It will be quite a show!" And remember what a "fizzle" the results were? And of course, when one crosses four "L's" one gets a familiar you-know-what... favorite symbol of a political party that once invaded Russia, made deals with the Ukraine, and which recently proudly displayed such symbols in its war against Russia...
...so indeed, perhaps there are deeply hidden "stacked functions" behind Russia's return to the Moon now, to find out more about the solar wind and the Moon, the Earth-Moon-Sun system, dust plasmas, and mapping of the lunar surface.
But just to look for water ice?
Nope. That dog doesn't hunt...
See you on the flip side...
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