Russia’s ambitious lunar mission, the Luna-25, has ended in failure as the spacecraft spun out of control and ultimately crashed into the surface of the Moon. This marks a disappointing end to Russia’s first moon mission in nearly half a century, as the country’s state space corporation, Roskosmos, announced the tragic incident.
The Luna-25 spacecraft encountered a catastrophic failure shortly after a critical maneuver as it was being positioned into its pre-landing orbit on Saturday. In a statement released by Roskosmos, the agency revealed that contact with the spacecraft had been lost due to an unforeseen issue during this critical phase of the mission.
“The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon,” Roskosmos stated in their official announcement, conveying the tragic outcome of the Luna-25 mission. This abrupt and unexpected end marks a significant setback for Russia’s space exploration ambitions and has left the scientific and space communities worldwide in shock.
In an official statement on Telegram, Roskosmos said, “On August 19, in accordance with the flight program of the Luna-25 spacecraft, it was planned to issue an impulse to form its pre-landing elliptical orbit. At about 14:57 Moscow time, communication with the Luna-25 spacecraft was interrupted. The measures taken on August 19 and 20 to search for the device and get in contact with it did not produce any results.”
“A specially formed interdepartmental commission will deal with the issues of clarifying the reasons for the loss of the Moon,” it added.
The Luna-25 mission was an integral part of Russia’s efforts to revitalize its lunar exploration program. The spacecraft was designed to land on the Moon’s south pole, a region of particular interest to scientists due to its potential for harboring water iceâ€”a precious resource that could be pivotal for future human missions to the Moon and beyond.
The failed mission was meant to serve as a precursor for more advanced lunar endeavors, paving the way for the upcoming Luna-26 and Luna-27 missions, which were expected to carry out more intricate tasks including the collection and return of lunar soil samples.
Roskosmos had originally outlined the Luna-25 mission as a significant milestone in Russia’s space exploration narrative, a long-awaited return to lunar exploration after nearly five decades since the last successful Soviet lunar mission. The incident has not only dashed these ambitions but has also raised questions about the technical challenges and unforeseen obstacles that space agencies face when undertaking such complex endeavors.