Russia Set to Evacuate Town Due to The Risk of Rocket Falling Ahead of its Russian Lunar Lander Launch After 50 Years

After delaying the robotic Luna-25 mission for a long time, Russia recently scheduled to launch the mission on August 11, TASS, a Russian state media publication reports. Engineers built the Russian lunar lander to perform a soft landing on the south pole of the lunar surface. The moon’s south pole has captured the attention of the US, China, India, and other top nations hoping to explore the moon’s surface.

These nations’ work focused on mining the south pole region for resources like ice. Once the ice is extracted, it can be transformed into oxygen, water, and even rocket propellant for return missions from the moon. Since 1976, Russia has not attempted to land a Russian lunar lander on the lunar surface. Hence, the Luna-25 mission will become the first Russian moon lander in nearly 50 years.

The sophisticated lunar lander will commence its liftoff atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in east Russia. However, before the liftoff, Russian officials plan to temporarily evacuate an entire town underneath the Soyuz rocket’s flight path. This evacuation is due to the danger of the rocket boosters crashing into the settlement after the launch.

Russia is hoping to study the upper surface layer surrounding the landing region and also the lunar exosphere using the moon lander. The powerful lunar vehicle will aid Russian scientists in developing landing and soil sampling technologies.

Why this Russian lunar Lander is a game changer

Since 1976, Russia has not attempted to launch a Russian lunar lander to explore the lunar surface. Hence, the Lunar-25 lander is set to advance the nation’s presence on the moon. This powerful lander was built by the Russian aerospace company, NPO Lavochkina. In a recent announcement, the company revealed that it has officially completed the design of the moon lander.

“Work has been completed on the creation of the Luna-25 spacecraft,” NPO Lavochkina wrote in a statement, “It is planned that the device will be the first in the world to carry out a soft landing on the surface of the moon in the south pole region and conduct contact studies of the lunar soil for the presence of ice at the landing site,” the statement concluded.

The NPO Lavochkina statement also reveals that the lunar lander will deploy “a completely Russian element base and the latest achievements in the field of space instrumentation.” The company that built the lander noted that the major goal of the mission “is to develop the basic technologies for a soft landing in the circumpolar region and conduct contact studies of the south pole of the moon.”

Hence, the world will be expecting a new era of lunar exploration through the Russian Luna-25 mission. During the planning process of this mission, the European Space Agency wanted to collaborate with Russia and test a navigation camera named Pilot-D, aboard the Luna-25. However, this plan was canceled when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. TASS revealed that the Luna-25 will liftoff as the first domestically-made lunar lander in modern Russian history.

Why Russia Wants to Evacuate a Town Ahead of the Launch of Russian Lunar Lander

The Russian government is planning to displace the entire town of Shakhtinskyi on August 11 before the launch of the Luna-25 moon lander, Reuters reports. The Shakhtinskyi is located in Russia’s Khabarovsk region. This area is exactly southeast of the launch site. People living in this region will be evacuated in the early hours of the launch date.

This is because the region lies in the path where the Soyuz rocket’s boosters will likely fall after separating from the lunar spacecraft. Russian officials announced that the evacuation will commence at 7:30 am. Afterward, the residents will be taken to a safe region where they watch the launch and enjoy a free breakfast.

They will return home within three and a half hours after the launch. A Russian official revealed that the chances of any rocket debris impacting Russia’s Khabarovsk region is one in a million. Hence, Shakhtinskyi may likely not be impacted by rocket debris.

Russia and India Racing to Join the Other top space nations on the lunar south pole

An artist representation of the Luna 25 lander. Image Credit: NPO Lavochkina

During the Soviet Union Era, lunar landers landed on the Moon’s equatorial zone. However, Russia is looking forward to landing its Luna-25 on the rough region of the lunar south pole, close to the Boguslavsky crater. The Luna-25 mission was previously scheduled to land on the moon on October 2021.

But as the mission was delayed for nearly two years, India will likely land its Chandrayaan-3 lander before Russian Luna-25. The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is planning to land its Chandrayaan-3 mission on the lunar south pole on August 23, if everything goes according to plan. Unlike the Luna-25 mission that is yet to commence with its liftoff, India’s spacecraft has reached the lunar orbit.

The Luna-25 Russian lunar lander will reach the moon in about five to seven days, Reuters reports. Upon arriving in the lunar orbit, the spacecraft will orbit the moon for about five days before attempting a soft landing on the lunar south pole. This implies that both nations are hoping to land their moon landers in almost the same period. However, chances exist that the Russian lander will touch down before India’s Chandrayaan-3 lander.


The Russians conducted its last mission, Luna-24 under the watch of the former Soviet Union in 1976. The agency collected and returned about 170 grams of lunar soil back to Earth from that mission. As Russia is about to launch the Luna-25 mission, the nation will evacuate an entire town to avoid any disaster. Hence, we should be expecting a lot of positive returns from the Luna 25 mission. You can revisit our site to stay updated with the latest of this Russian lunar lander mission.

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