Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft crashes into the moon

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Moscow, August 20 (IANS): Russia's space agency Roscosmos has said that its Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the moon after it ran into "unspecified trouble", the media reported on Sunday.

While entering a pre-landing orbit, the spacecraft ran into unspecified issues and "spun into an uncontrolled orbit", reports Mirror.

Earlier, the spacecraft encountered an "abnormal situation" as it was preparing to transfer to its pre-landing orbit to the moon.

"During the operation an emergency occurred on the space probe that did not allow it to perform the manoeuvre in accordance with the required parameters," Roscosmos said in a statement on Saturday.

The Luna-25 entered the moon's orbit on Wednesday.

Luna-25 took off atop a Soyuz-2.1b rocket from the Vostochny launch facility in Russia at 2.10 a.m. Moscow time (4.40 a.m. IST) on August 11, TASS news agency reported.

Russia's last lunar mission, Luna-24 was launched in 1976, during the former Soviet Union period.

With Luna-25, Russia aimed to be the first nation to make a soft landing on the lunar south pole.

Moreover, Luna-25 was slated to touch down around the same time, and in the same general area, as India's Chandrayaan 3 probe, which launched on July 14 and arrived in lunar orbit on August 6.

Media reports quoted Roscosmos as saying that the Luna-25 will not impede Chandrayaan-3, as the two missions will land on different areas. It added that there was enough space on the Moon for everyone.

Meanwhile, the US space agency NASA also plans to establish one or bases near the moon's south pole by the end of the 2020s, via its Artemis programme.

Luna-25 is expected to reach the Moon’s orbit on August 16 before landing on August 21.