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Russia's Luna-25 spacecraft crashes into Moon

Russia's unmanned Luna-25 spacecraft has crashed into the Moon after spinning out of control, officials say.

It was Russia's first Moon mission in almost 50 years.

The craft was due to be the first ever to land on the Moon's south pole, but failed after encountering problems as it moved into its pre-landing orbit.

It was set to explore a part of the Moon which scientists think could hold frozen water and precious elements.

Roscosmos, Russia's state space corporation, said on Sunday morning that it had lost contact with the Luna-25 shortly after 14:57pm (11:57 GMT) on Saturday.

Preliminary findings showed that the 800kg lander had "ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon", it said in a statement.

It said a special commission would look into why the mission failed.

The loss of Luna-25 is a blow to Roscosmos. Russia's civilian space programme has been in decline for several years, as state funding is increasingly directed towards the military.


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