Roscosmos: Russian Luna-25 probe crashed on the moon | Space news

The Russian Space Agency said that the lunar lander “no longer existed after it crashed into the surface of the moon.”

Russia’s space agency said the Luna-25 probe, the first Russian mission to the moon in nearly 50 years, crashed onto the lunar surface after an accident during pre-landing maneuvers.

Roscosmos said communication with Luna-25 was lost at 2:57 p.m. (1157 GMT) on Saturday.

On Sunday, Roscosmos said that according to preliminary results, the probe “no longer exists after hitting the lunar surface.”

“Actions taken on August 19 and 20 to locate and contact the vehicle have been unsuccessful.”

The space agency said an investigation would be launched into the causes of the crash, without giving any indication of technical problems that might have occurred.

With Luna-25, Moscow hoped to build on the legacy of the Soviet-era Luna program, marking a return to independent lunar exploration in the face of growing isolation from the West.

The 800-kilogram Luna-25 probe was scheduled to make a soft landing on the moon’s south pole on Monday, the first in history.

The Russian spacecraft was part of a superpower race to explore a part of the moon that scientists believe may contain frozen water and valuable elements.

Roughly the size of a small car, it will aim for a year’s work in the Antarctic, where in recent years scientists at NASA and other space agencies have discovered traces of frozen water in craters.

The presence of water has implications for major space powers, which could allow for a longer human stay on the Moon and which would enable the extraction of lunar resources.

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Earlier, Roskosmos said that it had received the first results from the Luna-25 mission and that it was being analyzed.

The agency also published images of the Zeeman crater on the moon taken from the spacecraft. The crater is the third deepest in the moon’s southern hemisphere, measuring 190 kilometers (118 miles) in diameter and eight kilometers (five miles) deep.

Roscosmos said the data it has received so far has provided information about the chemical elements in the lunar soil and will also facilitate the operation of instruments designed to study the nearby lunar surface.

Its instrument recorded a “micrometeor impact event”.

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