First Russian Lunar Mission In 47 Years Ends With Spacecraft Crashing Into Moon

Visitors stand next to a mockup of a new Russian orbital space station, presented by Roscosmos State Space Corporation, during the Army-2022 International Military-Technical Forum at the Russian Armed Forces’ Patriot Park in Kubinka, outside Moscow on August 16, 2022. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:42 PM – Sunday, August 20, 2023

Russia’s first lunar mission in almost 50 years ended when its unmanned Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and crashed into the moon after reportedly experiencing a glitch while preparing for pre-landing orbit.


Officials in Russia anticipated that the prestige mission would demonstrate that they could still compete in space travel, despite the nation’s post-Soviet fall and preoccupations with the Ukraine war.

The Luna-25 mission, which launched on August 11th, was Russia’s first attempt to send a spacecraft to the moon since the Luna-24 mission in 1976.

The mission’s abrupt end underscored Russia’s collapse in space authority since the Cold War, when Moscow was the first to launch a satellite into orbit, Sputnik 1.

Roscosmos, Russia’s official space organization, lost touch with the spacecraft at around 11:57 GMT on Saturday when the ship began having problems while preparing for pre-landing orbit, according to the agency.

“The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon,” Roscosmos representatives said in a statement.

According to Russian authorities, a special interdepartmental panel has been constituted to investigate the ship’s failure.

Luna-25 was scheduled to touch down on Monday, and the loss comes as Russia’s $2 trillion economy faces Western sanctions as well as Europe’s longest land battle since World War II.

As word of Russia’s crashed craft spread, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that its latest rival spacecraft will be scheduled to land on the moon’s south pole this week.

“India’s Chandrayaan-3 is set to land on the moon on August 23,” the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, around the time news of the Luna crash broke.

Similar concerns arose over a decade earlier with the disastrous Fobos-Grunt mission in 2011, when Russia’s Mars-bound spacecraft could not leave Earth’s orbit before crashing into the Pacific Ocean in 2012.

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