RNS: In a disheartening turn of events, Russia’s Luna-25 space probe met a tragic end as it crashed into the lunar surface after spiralling into an uncontrolled orbit, as revealed by Russia’s renowned space agency Roskosmos on Sunday.
Efforts to reestablish communication with the spacecraft between August 19 and 20 proved futile, leading to the unfortunate confirmation that the probe had deviated from its intended trajectory and ultimately collided with the Moon.
Roskosmos issued an official statement underscoring the unexpected nature of this incident: “On August 19 and 20, attempts to find and contact the craft failed. The device entered an unanticipated orbit and crashed into the Moon.”
The Luna-25 mission had encountered complications earlier in its journey. Specifically, an issue arose during the crucial phase of establishing a pre-landing orbit, an occurrence that unfolded at 11:10 GMT on Saturday, just before the planned touchdown on August 21.
According to the agency, an “abnormal situation” hindered the spacecraft’s movement as it sought to attain the prescribed parameters. The pivotal moment arrived when contact with the spacecraft was lost at 11:57 GMT on Saturday, signifying the commencement of a tragic chain of events. Roskosmos offered a succinct summary: “During operation, an exceptional circumstance on the automatic station prevented the movement with the given parameters… Luna-25 lost contact at 11:57 GMT on Saturday.”
The Luna-25 mission was designed with the intention of remaining operational on the lunar surface for a span of one year.
Among its key objectives were the collection of soil samples and the quest to locate water sources on the Moon, a discovery that holds promise for potential applications in producing rocket fuel and supporting future Moon colonies. The spacecraft’s equipment included onboard cameras that captured invaluable images of the lunar landscape.