/ 21 August 2023

A very fast moon landing…

Luna-25 blasts off

Russia’s Luna-25 craft was expected to land on the moon today, but we heard overnight that the unmanned craft had lost radio contact and crashed. You could technically call it a moon landing, although Roscosmos (Russia’s space agency) would prefer to say that the craft had “ceased its existence as a result of a collision with the lunar surface”. Ouch. It’s a big week for the moon, with India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar probe scheduled for lunar surface contact on Wednesday, if all goes to plan. India’s last attempt, the Chandrayaan-2, also made a high-speed faceplant in 2019 – although experts think the previous failed attempt gives this week’s landing a better chance at success. Both missions are/were aiming to land at the southern pole of the moon, where scientists are hoping that the frozen conditions mean they’ll be able to study moon ice for the first time. Maybe they can find an epic doorstop while they’re there? 

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