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Roskosmos: Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft loses control, crashes into moon

by Asami Terajima August 20, 2023 2:11 PM 1 min read
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The Russian Luna-25 spacecraft that was supposed to be the first to land on the lunar south pole has crashed into the moon, Russia's state space agency Roskosmos said on Aug. 20.

It was Russia's first spacecraft to take on a mission since 1976.

The unmanned spacecraft entered orbit on Aug. 16 and spun out of control at around 2:57 p.m. Moscow time on Aug. 19 – two days before its landing was planned, according to Roskosmos.

"The apparatus moved to an uncalculated orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the moon," Roskosmos said in a Telegram statement, adding that an interdepartmental commission will be established to investigate the cause.

Russia, long known for its once mighty space industry, sought to become the first nation to do a soft landing on the moon's south pole, which is thought to hold pockets of valuable water ice.  

The crash of the Luna-25 could indicate a steep decline in Russia's space power, decades after it became the first country to send the first satellite to orbit around the earth in 1957.

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