Inside Roscosmos Lunar Sphere Program
Files from the Roscosmos breach by GUR Cyber Operators
Yesterday was Cosmonauts Day in Russia, and to commemorate it, Putin traveled to the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far east part of Russia where he met with Belarus President Lukashenko to celebrate the day.
“We will resume the lunar program, we are talking about the launch of the Luna-25 automatic spacecraft from the Vostochny cosmodrome,” the head of state said on Tuesday, April 12, at the ceremony of presenting state awards to Russian cosmonauts at the Vostochny cosmodrome.
If that happens, it won’t be with the cooperation of the European Space Agency who this morning announced the suspension of all joint projects with Russia.
ESA will discontinue cooperative activities with Russia on Luna-25, -26 and -27. As with ExoMars, the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the resulting sanctions put in place represent a fundamental change of circumstances and make it impossible for ESA to implement the planned lunar cooperation.
Since Cyber operators at Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (GUR) had already breached Roscosmos and shared some of those files with Inside Cyber Warfare (a past article on the Exo-Mars program can be read here), today’s article will feature a new file pulled from the Roscosmos archive - “On the Progress of Work on the Luna-Glob Project and Problematic Issues”
Luna Glob (Луна-Глоб) or “Lunar Sphere” represents Russia’s plan to install a fully automated base on the moon. The slides featured in this article have been excerpted from the original deck and translated to English using Google Translate. The complete version of the deck in Russian with an accompanying English version is available for download at the end of this article (subscription required).
Luna 25 will be the first of a series of missions to be launched on a Soyuz-2-1b Fregat rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The program has been fraught with delays. A lack of funding moved the original 2016 launch date to 2019, but then further delays occurred. A guidance instrument named BIB, built by Russian company NPO IT, failed to perform as expected.
NPO Lavochin, the builder of Luna 25, contacted Airbus about using ASTRIX, a similar instrument, as a replacement for BIB, however ASTRIX has some parts made by U.S. companies and sharing it with Russia would be a violation of ITAR.
However, the BIB wasn’t the only problem. The next slide in the NPO Lavochkina deck that was included in GUR’s Roscosmos archive shows additional issues with the lander itself.
Now that the ESA has pulled out, Russia will need to once again re-calibrate its plans for this program.
For subscribers, the original deck in the download has 17 slides with a high level of detail. The english translation provided by Google Translate only includes 16 slides. The final slide was excluded for some reason.