Donetsk, Aug 11 — DAN. The automatic Lunar-25 station carried aloft by the Syuz-2.1b booster rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome has reached a moon flight trajectory and separated from the Fregat acceleration unit, the Roskosmos state corporation told the Donetsk News Agency on Friday.

“It is the first mission to Earth’s natural satellite in modern Russian history. It will soft-land, take samples for analysis and study lunar soil in the South Pole area and exosphere, ” said Roskosmos adding that it had taken control of Luna-25 after its separation from the acceleration unit.

The probe is expected to enter a circular orbit around the Moon at an altitude of 100 kilometers on August 16. The touchdown is planned for August 21 north of the Boguslavsky crater (69.545 S, 43.544 E).

A product of the S.A.Lavochkin research and production association, the lunar station is way different from its predecessors. It will make a soft touch-down in a rugged terrain area unlike the Soviet-era probes which landed next to the equator.*jk