Russian spacecraft, declares a “emergency
Russia’s space agency reported a “emergency” on its Luna-25 spacecraft on Saturday as it attempted to enter pre-landing orbit before a scheduled Monday touchdown. This was the nation’s first lunar mission in almost 50 years.
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Roscosmos instructed the lander to enter the pre-landing orbit at 2:10 p.m. Moscow time on Saturday, but “an emergency occurred on the space probe that did not allow it to perform the maneuver in accordance with the required parameters,” the agency said in a Telegram update that was also picked up by Tass.
Roscosmos stated that experts are examining the problem without offering any additional information.
The moon rush gets crowded as the Russian and Indian lunar landings draw near.
Russia is making its first lunar landing attempt since 1976 with Luna-25. On August 11, local time, the unmanned spacecraft launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia’s eastern Amur region.
It is scheduled to arrive on Monday, two days before an Indian mission is scheduled to do the same. It has already returned photographs of the moon’s Zeeman crater. Their race to the moon’s south pole coincides with a drive by nations like China and the United States to create a lunar presence.
The robotic arm of the Russian lander measures 1.6 meters (about 5 feet 3 inches) long and contains a scoop to gather rocks, soil, and dust. On a mission to investigate the makeup of the south pole, where NASA and other organizations have found signs of frozen water, it is anticipated to function for a year on the lunar surface.
According to The Washington Post, access to that ice is essential for any human settlement since the water in it not only supports life but also has the potential to be utilized as rocket fuel, placing the moon as a possible launchpad to other areas of the solar system.