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Russian space agency publishes declassified documents on world’s 1st lunar soft landing

AMUR REGION, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 27, 2018: A Soyuz-2.1a rocket booster with a Fregat-M upper stage block lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome to deliver Russia's Kanopus-V No 5 and No 6 remote sensing satellites and 26 foreign spacecraft to orbit. Yuri Smityuk/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Feb 13, 2021, TASS. Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has published declassified documents timed for the 55th jubilee of the world’s first soft lunar landing by the Soviet Luna-9 spacecraft, TASS reported.

“After making the world’s first lunar landing, the Luna-9 station turned into a working position and held nine communications sessions, transmitting three 360-degree panoramas of the lunar surface to Earth,” Roscosmos said in a statement posted on its website.

“With its help, scientists received information on the properties of the lunar soil and cosmic radiation on the Moon and on the entire flight path, which became the most valuable material for the developers of a piloted lunar program,” the statement says.

The materials published by Roscosmos include orders, protocols on discussions, technical plans and letters that give an idea about the difficulties the developers of the Luna-9 station had to overcome, as well as photos related to the spacecraft’s development and lunar panoramas it transmitted after its successful landing.

The Luna-9 station was launched on January 31, 1966 after numerous failed attempts to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s surface. Three days after its successful launch, the Luna-9 station made a soft landing on the Moon on February 3, 1966.

In June 2019, the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIIMash), which is Roscosmos’ leading research organization, unveiled the concept of the country’s lunar exploration program.

As the TsNIIMash materials indicate, the first landing of humans on the Earth’s natural satellite is planned for 2030.

After that, regular missions to the Moon are planned along with the deployment of a permanent lunar base. The basic stage is scheduled for 2032 – 2035. The permanent base is planned to be deployed precisely by 2035. During regular missions, “re-transmitters, energy modules and robotized systems” will be deployed on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite, the materials say.

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