Russia’s first lunar mission this century ends abruptly as Luna-25 crashes into Moon

Russia’s Luna-25 lander, the spacecraft that was to carry out the country’s first mission to the Moon of the 21st century, was destroyed when it crash landed into the lunar surface, Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the agency’s preliminary report, the probe collided with the surface of the Moon, and contact with the lander was lost on Monday.


Luna-25 was the first Russian lunar lander to be launched in almost 50 years. Its direct predecessor, Luna-24, was launched in 1976 and after landing on the Moon it successfully returned to Earth with samples of lunar soil it had collected.

Luna-25 was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East on 11 August, and had been planned to touch down on the lunar surface near the Moon’s South Pole on 21 August.

On 16 August, it was reported that the Luna-25 probe entered the Moon’s orbit. “For the first time in the history of modern Russia, an automatic station was put into orbit of the Moon’s artificial satellite,” the Russian space agency said.

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