Russian lunar station deviates from its course, crashes into the Moon

According to the Roscosmos press service, the Russian lunar station, "Luna-25," has deviated from its planned orbit and collided with the Moon, resulting in the termination of the mission.

On August 19th, as part of the designated flight program, "Luna-25" was supposed to receive a command to enter its pre-landing elliptical orbit. However, communication with the station was subsequently lost.

Russian space agency Roscosmos has been conducting search operations and attempting to establish contact with the spacecraft, but so far, there have been no positive outcomes.

Preliminary findings indicate that due to deviations in the actual impulse parameters from the planned ones, "Luna-25" entered an unplanned orbit and ultimately collided with the lunar surface, resulting in its destruction.

The launch of the spacecraft "Luna-25" to the Moon took place on Friday night and involved a significant investment from Russian authorities, with at least 12.6 billion rubles (equivalent to 72.4 million US dollars) dedicated to the project, according to news outlet Agentsvo.

The primary objectives of the Luna-25 mission were to test landing technology, conduct soil drilling, and analyze samples for volatile compounds, particularly frozen water that may have been delivered by comets. The discovery of substantial water resources would potentially eliminate the need for future astronauts to transport water from Earth and could serve as a basis for oxygen production and the eventual development of hydrogen fuel.

It is worth noting that the Luna-25 project has undergone extensive preparation. Initiated in 1997, the launch was initially planned for 2000 but encountered multiple delays due to funding constraints, technical issues, and later, Western sanctions.

Ultimately, Luna-25 was successfully launched on August 11, 2023.

  Roskosmos, Russia