The Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced the crash of Luna-25, the nation’s first Moon mission in almost 50 years. Communication with the lander was lost during pre-landing manoeuvres at 2:57 pm (1157 GMT) on Saturday.
After searching for it on August 19 and 20, the agency concluded that Luna-25 had been destroyed upon impact with the Moon’s surface. Roscosmos has launched an investigation into the possible causes of the crash, although no details or indications have yet been provided. With the loss of Luna-25, Russia is now left without any active space missions to the Moon.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced its ambitious attempt to revive the country’s historic lunar exploration program. The 800-kg Luna-25 probe is set to make a historic soft landing on the moon’s south pole, marking the first time since 1989 that Russia has tried to land on a celestial body.
Yuri Borisov, head of the Roscosmos agency, bravely presented his mission to President Vladimir Putin in June and reported the endeavor’s estimated chance of success at 70%. Even though the risk is high, the significance of the prospect of an independent Russian lunar mission without assistance from Western countries can not be overstated.
It remains to be seen how successful this attempt will be, but as Russia dares to embark on a bold new course of action, the world watches with bated breath.