Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft has encountered an unexpected setback in its mission to explore the south pole of the moon. According to Russia’s national space agency Roskosmos, the spacecraft experienced an “abnormal situation” on Saturday while preparing for its transfer to its pre-landing orbit. The spacecraft was scheduled to land on Monday in the hopes of discovering frozen water and precious elements in the area.
Roskosmos revealed that the abnormal situation prevented the maneuver from being carried out as planned. Specialists are currently analyzing the situation to determine the cause of the setback. Despite this setback, the agency previously announced that it had received preliminary results from the mission. Images of the moon’s Zeeman crater, which were taken from the spacecraft, were among the preliminary findings.
The Zeeman crater, located in the moon’s southern hemisphere, is a significant area of interest for scientists. Measuring 190 km in diameter and 8 km in depth, it is the third deepest crater on the moon. The data collected from the images taken by Luna-25 will provide valuable information about the chemical elements present in the lunar soil. This information will aid in the operation of devices designed to study the moon’s near-surface.
In addition to the unexpected situation, the spacecraft also experienced a micrometeorite impact. Despite these challenges, Luna-25 remains an important mission for Russia. It is the first Russian spacecraft to enter the moon’s orbit since 1976 and is about the size of a small car. Its primary objective is to operate for a year on the moon’s south pole, building on the previous discoveries of frozen water by NASA and other space agencies.
The discovery of water on the moon has significant implications for major space powers. Not only does it potentially enable longer moon missions, but it also opens up the possibility of resource mining. Water can be used for drinking and generating rocket fuel, making it a valuable resource for future space exploration.
Although Luna-25 has faced challenges, the ongoing mission represents an important step forward for Russia and the exploration of the moon. As specialists analyze the abnormal situation encountered by the spacecraft, the hope for new discoveries and a better understanding of the moon’s south pole remains.
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