Crashed Luna-25 Left Crater on the Moon, NASA Images Show

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Arizona State University via Reuters
The surface of the moon on June 27, 2020, and Aug. 24 this year, before and after the appearance of a crater believed to be the impact site of Russia’s Luna-25 mission, is seen in these NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images released on Aug. 31.

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia’s failed Luna-25 mission left a 10-meter wide crater on the moon when it crashed last month after a problem preparing for a soft landing on the south pole, according to images released by NASA.

Luna-25, Russia’s first moon mission in 47 years, failed on Aug. 19 when it spun out of control and crashed into the moon, underscoring the post-Soviet decline of a once mighty space program.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft imaged a new crater on the surface of the moon that it concluded was likely the impact site of Russia’s Luna-25 mission.

“The new crater is about 10 meters in diameter,” NASA said. “Since this new crater is close to the Luna-25 estimated impact point, the LRO team concludes it is likely to be from that mission, rather than a natural impactor.”

After the crash, Moscow said a special inter-departmental commission had been formed to investigate the reasons behind the loss of the Luna-25 craft.