Moscow: Russia’s lunar exploration mission, Luna-25, crashed during pre-landing manoeuvres, and communication with the lander was lost at 11:57 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on August 19, 2023, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said today.
Luna-25 had been successfully placed in the Moon’s orbit on Wednesday, August 16, 2023, after being launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East.
A soft landing of the 800-kilogram Luna-25 had been planned for Monday, August 21, 2023, on the lunar south pole — the first in history.
The initial findings suggested that the lander “has ceased to exist following a collision with the Moon’s surface,” Roscosmos said.
The Russian mission had marked the country’s return to the Moon after 47 years. Roscomos said that the measures taken on August 19 and 20, 2023, to locate the craft and make contact with it were “unsuccessful”.
News agency Reuters attributed a report to Roscosmos that said a special inter-departmental commission had been formed to investigate the reasons behind the loss of the Luna-25 craft. According to The Moscow Times, Roscosmos stated that a ministerial investigation would be launched into the causes of the crash, without giving any indication of what technical problems might have occurred. The newspaper reported that Roscosmos boss Yuri Borisov had said the venture would be “risky,” telling President Vladimir Putin in June that the probability of it succeeding was “around 70%.”
Luna-25 was a project to launch an automatic interplanetary landing station to study the upper surface layer in the region of the south pole of the moon, the lunar exosphere and develop landing and soil analysis technologies, according to the Institute of Space Research, Russian Academy of Sciences.
– global bihari bureau