The first Russian probe since 1976 crashed after an incident on Saturday during a maneuver prior to its landing on the moon.
Luna-25, the first probe to be launched by Russia to the Moon since 1976, crashed on the Moon following an incident on Saturday during a maneuver prior to its moon landing initially scheduled for Monday , announced the space agency Roscosmos.
“Around 2:57 p.m. (11:57 GMT), communication with Luna-25 was interrupted” on Saturday, the Russian agency said in a statement on Sunday. “According to the preliminary results” of the investigation, the device “ceased to exist following a collision with the lunar surface”, added Roscosmos.
A week after launching from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s far east, Luna-25 is already in a lunar orbit and Russian space agency Roscosmos has shared a detailed image of the lunar surface taken by the mission.
Roscosmos shared the image in a Telegram post on Thursday. In the image, the Zeeman crater on near the south pole of the Moon on the far side is visible. The crater is not visible from Earth but it is of great interest to researchers according to the space agency. Interestingly, the first image of the far side of the Moon was taken by the Soviet Luna-3 mission, which could be thought of as a distant predecessor to the Luna-25 mission.