Russian Moon Landing Failed: Luna-25 Hit The Moon

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The Russian lunar lander Luna-25 crashed into the moon’s surface and was destroyed. Roskosmos reports this. Or, as the Russian space agency describes it: “a situation that did not go according to plan”.

 

According to Roskosmos, an incident occurred on Saturday during a manoeuvre before the moon landing that was, in principle, foreseen on Monday. Shortly before noon Belgian time, communication with Luna-25 was lost. The first Russian mission to the moon in almost half a century has thus failed. What exactly went wrong is being investigated. To this end, an “interministerial committee” is being set up.

Luna-25 was launched more than a week ago. The 1,800-kilogram probe reached orbit around the moon last Wednesday. Since then, Luna-25 has been searching for a suitable landing site near the moon’s south pole. The probe should have taken soil samples and searched for water.

Much prestige was at stake for Russia. The country, which wants to set up a space station on the moon by 2040, wanted to prove that it can still compete in space despite Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

It was the first Russian mission to the moon since the Soviet space probe Luna-24 in 1976. Roskosmos worked with the European space agency ESA on the new lunar program, but ESA ended that collaboration after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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