Russia’s lunar mission, the Luna-25 probe, has encountered a mishap during pre-landing maneuvers and subsequently crashed on the Moon.
The mission, which marked the country’s reentry into lunar exploration after nearly half a century, as reported by the Russian space agency Roscosmos on Sunday.
At 2:57 pm (1157 GMT) on Saturday, communication with the Luna-25 probe was abruptly lost, Roscosmos disclosed.
Based on initial assessments, the lander has met its end due to a collision with the lunar surface, as stated by Roscosmos.
Roscomos further, stated that efforts made on August 19 and 20 to locate the craft and reestablish communication with it proved futile.
An inquiry into the circumstances behind the crash is set to be initiated by the space agency. However, no specific details regarding potential technical glitches have been provided.
Moscow’s intentions with the Luna-25 mission were to continue the legacy of its Soviet-era Luna program.
Thereby making an independent return to lunar exploration amidst increasing detachment from Western counterparts.
The Luna-25 probe, weighing 800 kilograms, was originally designed to achieve a gentle landing on the southern pole of the Moon, marking a significant milestone in space history.
Moon landing history
Russia’s previous endeavor to land on a celestial body was in 1989, which saw the Soviet Union’s ill-fated Phobos 2 probe, intended for the exploration of Mars’ moons, fail due to an onboard computer malfunction.
Yuri Borisov, head of Roscosmos, had previously acknowledged the riskiness of the venture, conveying to President Vladimir Putin in June that the likelihood of its success stood at approximately 70 percent.
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