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Russia’s Luna-25 Lander Fails To Enter Pre-Landing

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The Luna-25, the first Russian lunar lander in nearly 50 years, wasn’t able to enter its scheduled pre-landing orbit of the moon.

 

The robotic spacecraft was due to enter the orbit on Saturday, but due to an emergency situation the maneuver was unsuccessful, according to a statement from the Russian space corporation Roscosmos. The team is analyzing the situation, it said, without giving further details.

 

Russia launched the craft last week, joining a race with NASA and other space agencies. It’s scheduled to land on the moon’s south pole on Aug. 21, Roscosmos said earlier. It’s not immediately clear if the plan still stands.

 

The lunar south pole is a highly coveted target among space-faring nations, including the US and China. India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is orbiting the moon and will likely attempt a landing near the pole this week.

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