Russia's first moon mission in 47 years failed when its Luna-25 space craft spun out of control and crashed into the moon after a problem preparing for pre-landing orbit, underscoring the post-Soviet decline of a once mighty space programme, APA reports citing Reuters.
Russia's state space corporation, Roskosmos, said it had lost contact with the craft at 11:57 GMT on Saturday after a problem as the craft was shunted into pre-landing orbit. A soft landing had been planned for Monday.
It said a special inter-departmental commission had been formed to investigate the reasons behind the loss of the Luna-25 craft.
It also comes as Russia's $2 trillion economy faces its biggest external challenge for decades: the pressure of both Western sanctions and fighting the biggest land war in Europe since World War Two.
Though moon missions are fiendishly difficult, and many U.S. and Soviet attempts have failed, Russia had not attempted a moon mission since Luna-24 in 1976, when Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev ruled the Kremlin.