“At 2.10pm (11.10 GMT), thrust was released to transfer the probe onto the pre-landing orbit. During the operation, an emergency situation occurred on board the automatic station, which did not allow the manoeuvre within the specified conditions,” Roscosmos said. Specialists are analysing the situation, it said, without providing details. Roscosmos did not say if the incident would delay the Moon landing.
In a global race to first reach the South pole side of the Moon, which remains a virgin territory for humans till now and is supposed to possess water ice in permanently shadowed areas, the Russian spacecraft is scheduled to land on north of the Boguslawsky crater. India’s Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to make the Moon landing on Wednesday, two days after the Luna-25 touchdown.
The exact landing site of the Russian lander is at 72.9°S 43.2°E (close to where Chandrayaan-3 lander is expected to land).
Earlier, Roscosmos said it had received the first results from the Luna-25 mission, and that they were being analysed. The agency also posted images of the Moon’s Zeeman crater taken from the spacecraft. The crater is the third deepest in the Moon’s southern hemisphere, it said, measuring 190km in diameter and 8km in depth. Roscosmos said data it had received so far had provided information about the chemical elements in the lunar soil and would also facilitate the operation of devices designed to study the near-surface of the Moon.