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Russia launches rocket, racing India to the moon's southern pole

Rocket carrying the Luna-25 rover launching Associated Press/Roscosmos State Space Corporation

Russia launches rocket, racing India to the moon's southern pole

Russia launched its first moon mission in almost 50 years on Friday morning. Roscosmos Director General Yuri Borisov said the Luna-25 capsule is headed for the moon’s southern pole in hopes of finding water in heavily shadowed craters. The spacecraft will orbit the moon for three to seven days before landing to explore the surface, according to the Russian space program.

Are Russia and India in a space race? The Indian Space Research Organization also hopes to explore the southern pole of the moon and launched a rocket carrying a rover in mid-July. India also hopes to find water in the shadowed poles. Although Russia launched its spacecraft almost a month after India, the rovers are projected to touch down around the same time in late August. Only the United States, the Soviet Union, and China have successfully landed on the moon, with both India and Russia vying to be next.

Dig deeper: Read Daniel James Devine’s report in WORLD Magazine on China’s space ambitions.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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