Russia’s Luna-25 unmanned spacecraft which marked the country’s return to the moon after two decades, lost communications after crash- landing on the lunar surface on Saturday.
“According to the results of a preliminary analysis, due to the deviation of the actual impulse parameters from the calculated ones, the Luna-25 spacecraft switched to an off-design orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the lunar surface,” a report by the country’s space agency, Roscosmos said.
“The issues of finding out the reasons for the loss of the spacecraft will be dealt with by a specially formed interdepartmental commission,” Roscosmos said.
Communication with the interplanetary automatic station “Luna-25” was interrupted on August 19 after the issuance of a command to form a pre-landing orbit, Roscosmos reported.
“On August 19, in accordance with the flight program of the Luna-25 spacecraft, it was planned to issue an impulse to form its pre-landing elliptical orbit,” the press service of the state corporation said. According to her, at about 14.57 Moscow time, communication with the Luna-25 spacecraft was interrupted.
“The measures taken on August 19 and 20 to search for the device and get in touch with it did not produce any results,” the report says.
The day before, the state corporation reported that during the issuance of an impulse for the transition of Luna-25 to a pre-landing orbit, an emergency situation occurred on board the station, “which did not allow the maneuver to be performed with the specified parameters.”
The first lunar mission in the modern history of Russia started on August 11. The Luna-25 automatic interplanetary station was launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome by a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage.
According to the general director of Roskosmos, Yuri Borisov, the soft landing of Luna-25 on the South Pole of the Earth satellite was to take place on August 21.
“Luna-25” is a part of the Russian lunar program, the first Russian lunar task, carried out in the “NPO Lavochkin”, for the study and practical use of the Moon and the near-lunar space by automatic interplanetary stations.