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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Technical malfunction impacts Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft

Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft encountered an “abnormal situation” on Saturday while preparing to shift to its pre-landing orbit, as confirmed by Russia’s national space agency Roskosmos.

Scheduled for a Monday landing on the moon’s south pole, Luna-25 is part of the competition to explore this region, believed to contain frozen water and valuable elements.

Roskosmos stated, “During the operation, an abnormal situation occurred on board the automatic station, which did not allow the manoeuvre to be performed with the specified parameters.”

The agency is analyzing the situation, offering no further details at this time. Earlier, Roskosmos mentioned receiving initial results from the Luna-25 mission, which were under analysis.

The agency shared images of the Zeeman crater on the moon taken from the spacecraft. This crater, located in the southern hemisphere, measures 190km (118 miles) in diameter and eight km (five miles) in depth.

Roskosmos noted that the data received thus far offered insights into the lunar soil’s chemical elements and would support devices designed for studying the moon’s near-surface.

It also reported registering “the event of a micrometeorite impact.”

Luna-25, the first Russian spacecraft to enter the moon’s orbit since 1976, aims to operate for a year on the moon’s south pole.

This region has revealed traces of frozen water, a discovery of significance for space exploration as it could potentially support longer human stays and resource extraction.

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