After numerous delayed launches since 2020, Russia’s Luna-25 mission finally headed to space on August 11th.
The Russian Luna-Glob-Lander was supposed to become the first lunar station to ever land on the south pole of the moon.
It was supposed to land at the Boguslavsky crater and, according to NASA, “study composition of the polar regolith” and the “plasma and dust components of the lunar polar exosphere.”
It was hoped that the Russian spacecraft would be able to discover frozen water and other rare elements once it landed.
Unfortunately, Russia’s first moon mission in almost 50 years ended with the craft spinning out of control and crashing.
The BBC reported on Sunday that “Roscosmos, Russia’s state space corporation, said on Sunday morning that it had lost contact with the Luna-25 shortly after 14:57pm (11:57 GMT) on Saturday.”
In a statement, Roscosmos said that its Luna-25 craft “ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the moon.”
Earlier this year, Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, claimed the NASA moon landings in 1969 were fake.
During Apollo 11’s landing in 1969, the Soviet Union’s Luna-15 spacecraft was in orbit around the moon. Luna-15, like Luna-25, ended up crashing into the moon, a few hours before the Apollo 11 crew left the moon and returned to Earth.
The United States, China and the former Soviet Union are the only nations to have successfully performed a soft landing on the moon.
Russia was attempting to beat India in landing on the south pole of the moon.
India is currently attempting to land on the south pole as part of the country’s Chandrayaan-3 mission. This will be India’s second attempt to soft land on the moon.
It is expected that Vikram, Chandrayaan-3’s lander, will attempt to land on the moon on August 23rd.
“Every space mission is very risky and highly technical. It’s unfortunate that Luna-25 has crashed,” a spokesperson for the Indian space agency Isro told the BBC.