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NASA’s Lunar Orbiter finds possible site where Russian lander crashed

NASA believes its LRO or Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter found the remains of Luna-25 on the Moon. The LRO has captured images of a newly formed crater on the Moon’s surface believed to be the result of Russia’s Luna 25 mission.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has captured images of a newly formed crater on the Moon’s surface believed to be the result of Russia’s Luna 25 mission.

Luna 25, a Russian lunar lander, encountered an anomaly during its descent, causing it to crash into the surface of the Moon on August 19. Images of the LRO spacecraft provide valuable information about the site of impact and the aftermath of the Luna 25 mission’s failed landing.

Official reports suggest that the Luna 25 landing module crashed after one of the thrusters aboard the Luna 25 spun out of control and crashed into the moon.

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The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has captured images of a new crater on the Moon’s surface, likely resulting from the Russian Luna 25 mission. The last “before” image of the area was taken in June 2022, which means that the crater was formed after this date.

Luna 25 Crash NASA's Lunar Orbiter discovers possible site where Russian Landrover crashed
The image on the right would be of a new crater before the Luna-25 crash. The image on the left shows the same place, but before the crash | Image Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University

The crater’s proximity to Luna 25’s estimated impact point suggests it was caused by mission failure rather than a natural event.

The LRO spacecraft, operated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has provided valuable data since its launch in 2009. Its images and observations have contributed significantly to our understanding of the Moon’s surface and geological features.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), operated by Arizona State University, captured the images of the Luna 25 impact site.

The newly formed crater has a diameter of approximately 10 meters and is located at coordinates 57.865 degrees south latitude and 61.360 degrees east longitude, at an elevation of approximately minus 360 meters.

The impact occurred on the steep inner rim of the Pontécoulant G crater, with a slope greater than 20 degrees. This impact site is located approximately 400 kilometers from Luna 25’s intended landing spot, which was 69.545 degrees south and 43.544 degrees east.


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