Luna-25: Russia’s first moon mission in decades fails as spacecraft collides with surface

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Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft has collided with the surface of moon after communication was interrupted, Russian state media TASS reported, citing Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos.

The spacecraft was meant to be Russia’s first lunar landing mission in 47 years.

According to preliminary calculations, Luna-25 “switched to an off-design orbit” before the collision, TASS reported.

A specially formed interdepartmental commission will investigate the reasons for the loss of Luna-25, state media added.

The news comes a day after the spacecraft reported an “emergency situation” as it was trying to enter a pre-landing orbit, according to Roscosmos.

“During the operation, an emergency situation occurred on board the automatic station, which did not allow the maneuver to be performed with the specified parameters,” Roscosmos said in a Telegram post on Saturday.

Russia’s Luna 25 lander mission marked the country’s first attempt at landing a spacecraft on the moon since the Soviet era. The last lunar lander, Luna 24, landed on the surface of the Moon on August 18, 1976.

The Luna-25 spacecraft launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Amur Oblast on August 10, setting the vehicle on a swift trip to the moon.

Luna 25’s trajectory allowed it to surpass India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander, which launched in mid-July, on the way to the lunar surface.

This is a developing news story. More follows…


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