Russian Lunar Program to Continue Despite Luna-25 Probe Crash

In the realm of space exploration, even setbacks can offer valuable lessons.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Russian Lunar Program to Continue Despite Luna-25 Probe Crash
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In the realm of space exploration, even setbacks can offer valuable lessons. This sentiment is echoed by Yuri Borisov, head of Russia's space agency Roskosmos, as he reaffirmed the nation's commitment to lunar exploration despite the recent mishap with the Luna-25 probe.

A Bumpy Return to the Moon

The Luna-25, Russia's first lunar probe in nearly half a century, experienced a crash on the lunar surface last weekend. The reason? An issue with its engine's timing. Yuri Borisov detailed the misadventure, stating, “Instead of the planned 84 seconds, [the engine] worked for 127 seconds.

This was the main reason for the emergency”. He made this revelation during an interview with the Russian state news channel, Russia 24. An expert committee has been assembled to further scrutinize the causes of the failure.

However, Borisov's reflections on this incident are more forward-looking than one might expect. He believes that a hiatus from lunar exploration—almost 50 years—played a significant part in the probe's malfunction.

“The negative experience of interrupting the lunar programme for almost 50 years is the main reason for the failures,” Mr. Borisov said. But quitting now? “It would be the worst decision ever,” he declared, emphasizing Russia's determination to learn from this misstep.

Future Horizons: More Than Just Moonshots

Despite the Luna-25 setback, Borisov remains optimistic about the lunar program's future. He's of the opinion that this mission, even in its failure, bestowed Russia with crucial insights.

Far from being dissuaded, Borisov pushes for expediting the work on forthcoming lunar projects. Roscosmos is not resting on its laurels. The space agency has already charted the course for the next decade, announcing three more unmanned missions: Luna-26 by 2027, Luna-27 by 2028, and Luna-28 by 2030.

Apart from these, another significant launch is on the horizon. Russia is gearing up to dispatch the Progress space cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS) this Wednesday. The Luna-25's crash is a stark reminder of the complexities of space exploration. Yet, it is clear that Russia remains undeterred in its quest to establish a space station on the moon by 2040.

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