Luna-25 has crashed into the moon: Russia’s space agency Roskosmos

Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, reports that Luna-25 has collided with the moon.

NEW DELHI: According to the Russian space agency Roskosmos, the Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after spinning out of control. Russia’s first lunar mission in 47 years was Luna-25.

A day prior, Roskosmos had reported an issue in manoeuvring Luna-25 into a pre-landing orbit.

“Attempts to find the craft and get in touch with it on August 19 and 20 were unsuccessful. Roskosmos claimed in a statement that the device “moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon.”

READ ALSO: A mechanical issue with Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft during a pre-landing manoeuvre

According to the agency, a “abnormal situation” developed as mission control attempted to place the spaceship in a pre-landing orbit at 11:10 GMT on Saturday, ahead of the anticipated August 21 touchdown.

“During the operation, an abnormal circumstance aboard the automatic station occurred, preventing the manoeuvre from being carried out within the prescribed boundaries… At 11:57 GMT on Saturday, communication with Luna-25 was lost, according to a brief statement from Roskosmos.

In order to gather soil samples and seek for water, which proponents believe may be used to create rocket fuel for upcoming launches and sustain possible lunar settlements, Luna-25 was scheduled to spend a year on the moon. Images of the lunar surface had been captured by the lander’s cameras.

Without mentioning any potential technical issues, the space agency has stated that a probe into the crash’s reasons will be opened.

Blow to prestige mission

The failure of the prestige mission highlights Russia’s decline as a space power since the height of the Cold War rivalry, when Moscow launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite to orbit the Earth, in 1957, and Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to enter space in 1961.

Since Luna-24 in 1976, when Leonid Brezhnev was in charge of the Kremlin, Russia has not made an attempt at a moon mission. On August 21, Luna-25 was scheduled to perform a gentle landing on the south pole of the moon.

Chandrayaan-3 to attempt landing on August 23 at 6.04pm

Russia had been competing with China and the United States, which also have advanced lunar aspirations, as well as India, whose Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is expected to touch down on the moon’s south pole this week.

On August 23 at 6:04 p.m., Chandrayaan-3 will try to make a soft landing, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation.

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