Russia’s Luna-25 Spacecraft Hit Technical Glitch, Will It Still Land on the Moon?
According to Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft, the country’s first lunar lander in nearly five decades, faced a technical error while attempting to enter a pre-landing orbit. According to the ESA, a “abnormal situation” onboard the spacecraft prevented it from conducting the manoeuvre with the necessary parameters. While it is unknown whether this incident would prevent Luna-25 from landing, rumours of mission failure have circulated on social media.
The spacecraft was supposed to land on the moon’s south pole between Monday and Wednesday, competing with India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission. Because of the prospect of water in the constantly shadowed polar craters, scientists are particularly interested in the lunar south pole. Future explorers may be able to use the frozen water in these rocks as air and rocket fuel.
Despite the setback, Roscosmos announced that the spacecraft returned its initial results, which included data on the chemical constituents of the lunar soil and the identification of a micrometeorite impact. They also revealed images of the Zeeman crater, the third largest on the moon’s southern hemisphere, taken by the probe.
Russia’s Moon mission began earlier this year, with the launch of Luna-25 on August 11. On August 12 and 14, the spacecraft experienced two trajectory adjustments. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Chandrayaan-3 is anticipated to settle on the moon.
So far, only the Soviet Union, the United States, and China have successfully completed moon landings. Russia and India are now competing to be the next countries to achieve this accomplishment.
It is worth emphasising that Russia’s space programme has experienced hurdles as a result of the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, which has curtailed their access to Western technologies.