Russian craft crash leaves dent on moon

Russian craft crash leaves dent on moon

A 10-metre wide crater has been left on the moon from Russia’s failed Luna-25 mission.

The spacecraft crashed after an issue emerged as it was preparing for a soft landing on the south pole.

Russia’s first moon mission in 47 years failed on August 19 when it spun out of control and crashed, the space agency said.

Images released by NASA show the obvious dent on the moon’s surface, taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft.

In a statement, NASA said that since the new crater is close to the estimated impact point of Lune-25, it’s far more likely caused by the mission as opposed to a natural impactor.

After the crash, Moscow said a special interdepartmental commission had been formed to investigate the reasons behind the loss of the Luna-25 craft.

On August 20, Russia’s national space agency Roskosmos said an “abnormal situation” occurred as its Luna-25 spacecraft prepared to transfer to its pre-landing orbit.

“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,” Roskosmos said in a short statement.

About the size of a small car, the spacecraft aimed to run for a year on the south pole of the moon as part of a big power race to explore a part of the moon which scientists think may hold frozen water and precious elements.

The presence of water has impacts for major space powers as it could potentially let humans stay longer and mine more lunar resources.

While many moon missions fail, the crash underscored the decline of Moscow’s space power since the glory days of Cold War competition.

Russia was the first country to launch a satellite to orbit the Earth – Sputnik 1 in 1957.

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to travel into space in 1961.

– With Reuters