Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft suffers technical problem in pre-landing maneuver

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket booster with a Fregat upper phase and the lunar landing spacecraft Luna-25 launch from a launchpad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far eastern Amur area, Russia, Aug. 11, 2023.

Roscosmos | Via Reuters

Russia reported an “abnormal situation” Saturday on its moon-bound Luna-25 spacecraft, which released previously this month.

The nation’s area company, Roscosmos, stated the spacecraft faced undefined problem while attempting to get in a pre-landing orbit, which its experts were examining the circumstance.

“During the operation, an abnormal situation occurred on board the automatic station, which did not allow the maneuver to be performed with the specified parameters,” Roscosmos stated in a Telegram post.

Roscosmos did not define whether the occurrence will avoid Luna-25 from making a landing.

The spacecraft is set up to arrive on the south pole of the moon on Monday, racing to arrive on Earth’s satellite ahead of an Indian spacecraft. The lunar south pole is of specific interest to researchers, who think the completely watched polar craters might include water. The frozen water in the rocks might be changed by future explorers into air and rocket fuel.

Also on Saturday, the Russian spacecraft produced its very first outcomes. Though Roscosmos stated the info was going through analysis, the company reported that the initial information acquired included info about the chemical components of the lunar soil which its devices had actually signed up a “micrometeorite impact.”

Roscosmos published pictures of the Zeeman crater – the 3rd biggest in the moon’s southern hemisphere – drawn from the spacecraft. The crater has a size of 190 kilometers (118 miles) and is 8 kilometers (5 miles) deep.

The launch from Russia’s Vostochny spaceport in the Far East of the Luna-25 craft on Aug. 10 was Russia’s initially because 1976 when it belonged to the Soviet Union.

The Russian lunar lander was anticipated to reach the moon in between Aug. 21-23, around the exact same time as an Indian craft that was released on July 14.

Only 3 federal governments have actually handled effective moon landings: the Soviet Union, the United States and China. India and Russia are intending to be the very first to land at the moon’s south pole.

Roscosmos stated it wishes to reveal Russia “is a state capable of delivering a payload to the moon,” and “ensure Russia’s guaranteed access to the moon’s surface.”

Sanctions troubled Russia after it got into Ukraine make it harder for the nation to gain access to Western innovation, affecting its area program. The Luna-25 was at first suggested to bring a little moon rover however that concept was deserted to decrease the weight of the craft for enhanced dependability, experts state.

“Foreign electronics are lighter, domestic electronics are heavier,” Egorov stated. “While scientists might have the task of studying lunar water, for Roscosmos the main task is simply to land on the moon — to recover lost Soviet expertise and learn how to perform this task in a new era.”

The spaceport is an animal job of Russian President Vladimir Putin and is crucial to his efforts to make Russia an area superpower and relocation Russian launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A previous Indian effort to land at the moon’s south pole in 2019 ended when the lander crashed into the moon’s surface area.


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