Nearly half a century later, Russia’s Moon mission failed when the country’s Luna-25 spacecraft lost control and crashed into the Moon.
A Soyuz 2.1 rocket carrying Luna-25 was launched from Vostochny Cosmodrome, 5,550 km east of Moscow, at 2:11 am on 11 August (Moscow time). It entered the lunar orbit on 16 August and is scheduled to soft land on 21 August.
However, Roscosmos confirmed that it encountered an “abnormal situation” while attempting to orbit Luna-25 at 11:10 am (GMT) on 19 August. Then at 11:57 in the morning, he lost contact with this spacecraft.
“The device entered an unexpected orbit and ceased to exist due to collision with the lunar surface,” Roscosmos said in a statement. He said a commission has been formed to probe the incident.
Russia’s space efforts come at a time when the country is facing geopolitical issues both domestically and abroad. Photo: Reuters
Roscosmos also shared some preliminary information: “The thrust is released to establish the spacecraft in orbit before landing. During the operation, an emergency situation occurred at the automated station, which caused the spacecraft to fall. Maneuvering of the mission could not be performed”.
In addition, on 19 and 20 August, Russia attempted to locate and re-establish contact with Luna-25 but failed.
The 800 kg Luna-25 spacecraft is all set to create history with a soft landing on the South Pole of the Moon, a feat never achieved before. However, this did not happen.
In June this year, Roscosmos director Yuri Borisov acknowledged the risks of the Luna-25 mission and estimated the chances of success to be around 70%.
The Luna-25 mission is of great importance to Russia and aims to develop the legacy of the Luna program from the Soviet era. Russia’s space efforts come at a time when the country is facing geopolitical issues both domestically and abroad.