November 30, 2023


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Watch the crashed Russian Luna 25 spacecraft create a new hole in the moon

Watch the crashed Russian Luna 25 spacecraft create a new hole in the moon

latest wes anderson movies, Asteroid city (Streaming now On the peacock), centered around a fictional play within a fantasy film, set in the fictional city of Asteroid City. There, a crater left by a meteorite impact attracts a curious group of people including an alien befriending Crom. Wherever you find a new hole, there’s usually a good story to accompany it.

Any denizen of the Moon’s south pole might have had their own cinematic call to adventure on August 19, when the Russian lunar lander Luna 25 unexpectedly crashed during landing.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter finds the Luna-25 impact site

The mission would have returned Russia to the moon for the first time since the original Space Race. It would also have made them the first to land on soft ground at the Moon’s south pole, a region of particular interest thanks to its reserves of frozen water. Instead, their first lunar mission in half a century failed at the finish line when an anomalous event sent the spacecraft hurtling toward the moon at high speed.

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Two days after Roscosmos lost contact with the Luna 25 spacecraft, the Russian space agency published the estimated impact point. NASA scientists on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team then directed the orbiter to capture new images of the region. They then compared these new images to historical images of the same area.

Immediately, they found a new hole in approximately the location estimated by Roscosmos. The crater is estimated to be about 10 meters in diameter and is located approximately 400 kilometers from the planned Luna 25 landing site.

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Importantly, the most recent images of the area are more than a year old, and were taken in June 2022. With that in mind, all we can know for sure is that something created a new crater between June 2022 and August 24, 2023, when the New pictures. However, given the proximity of where we know Luna-25 fell, the crater was likely caused by an impact.

It’s not the outcome Russia wanted, but every accidental crater is evidence of humanity’s enduring exploratory spirit. As Wayne Gretzky once said, you’ll miss 100% of the future holes you don’t shoot, or something like that.

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