Will Russia successfully launch a moon mission on or before 1 Sep 2023?
Closing Aug 31, 2023 04:00AM UTC
Russia announced plans to launch its Luna 25 lunar lander mission in Jul 2023, delayed from Sep 2022 (Space, TASS). Luna 25 would be the first mission of Russia's larger Luna Glob moon exploration program, intended to make progress towards a fully robotic lunar base. The lander is targeted to the south polar region of the moon (NASA). Russia has not successfully landed on the moon in over 45 years, with the most recent landing being the Luna 24 mission in 1976. Recent news of Luna 25's prospects has been mixed (The Space Review).
This question resolves based on reporting from reputable news outlets. A "successful launch" includes both launching and landing safely on the moon. If a launch occurs, we will wait to resolve the question until the mission makes a landing; scoring will be based on the launch date, not the moon landing date. For example, if a mission launches on 1 Sep 2023 and lands on the moon days later past the end date of this question, we will resolve as "Yes".