The crash of the Russian Luna-25 lander on the surface of our satellite, which occurred last August 19, and confirmed the following day due to a malfunction, left a crater: the impact site was identified by the NASA Lro probe, in orbit around the Moon, and is located approximately 400 kilometers from the point where the landing should have occurred, in the Pontecoulant G crater located in the Southern hemisphere of the Moon .
The “eyes” of the probe had in fact been turned by NASA towards that area, after the Russian space agency Roscosmos published, the following day, an estimate of the impact point: comparing the most recent images captured before August 19 (dating back to June 2022), with those collected now, a small crater of about 10 meters in diameter emerges which was not there before.
Since this new crater is close to the estimated crash site of Luna-25, the Lro team believes that this is precisely what it is and not the mark left by a collision with an object such as a meteorite. The failure of the mission, which should have brought Russia back to the Moon almost 50 years after the last time, was due to the engines being turned on for too long to control the descent, 127 seconds compared to the 84 expected, as reported Roscosmos. If everything had gone as planned, the vehicle would have been the first to land on the south pole of our satellite. The record was instead snatched only a few days later, on August 23, by the Chandrayaan-3 mission: a success that allowed India to become the fourth power to land a moon landing after the Soviet Union, the United States and China, as well as the first to reach the highly coveted region of the lunar South Pole, potentially rich in water ice crucial for future human missions.