After multiple delays, Russia's space agency finally announces much-anticipated Luna 25 moon mission will launch in July 2022

The first of three planned Russian missions to the Moon will launch in July 2022, the chief of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos has revealed, finally bringing an end to years of delays postponing the take-off of the Luna 25 lander.

Speaking on Tuesday, Dmitry Rogozin told TV station Channel One that the lunar robot will be fired into space from the Vostochny Cosmodrome next year.

A mock-up model of the Russian Luna-27 spacecraft is on display at the stall of Russian space agency Roscosmos during the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov

The lander, the latest in the Luna series – and the first since Luna 24 in 1976 – was initially scheduled for 2019. It has been postponed numerous times, but it is seemingly now finally ready to go to the Moon.

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Luna 25 will be used to test the Russian-made landing technology. Once on the Moon, it will study the surface before collecting and delivering lunar soil to Earth.

Another two missions, Luna 26 and Luna 27, are planned for the near future.

Rogozin also revealed that the joint ExoMars-2022 mission between the European Space Agency and Roscosmos to search for evidence of life on the red planet would take off in September.

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Created in 1958, the Soviet Luna program successfully explored the Moon on 15 different occasions, accomplishing many firsts in space exploration. Luna 2 was the first man-made object to reach the Moon, while Luna 3 took the first photographs of the far side. Luna 9, in 1966, made the first soft landing on the Earth’s only natural satellite.

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