It’s unfortunate that Russia’s Luna-25 lunar probe crashed into the Moon, but it’s interesting to hear that NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has detected a crater likely caused by the crash.
Luna-25 Crash: Russia’s Luna-25 lunar probe, their first moon probe in 47 years, crashed into the lunar surface on August 19.
Crater Discovery: NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft detected a crater that is believed to have been caused by the Luna-25 probe crash nearly two weeks after the incident.
LRO Imaging: The LRO team used the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) to image the area on August 24. They compared these images with earlier pictures of the same region taken by LROC, with the most recent images dating back to June 2022. This comparison revealed a new, bright crater on the Moon that had formed in the past 14 months.
Crater Characteristics: The newly discovered crater is approximately 33 feet (10 meters) wide and is located at about 58 degrees south latitude on the steep inner rim of the moon’s Pontécoulant G crater. The impact site is approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) away from Luna-25’s planned landing site, which was at 69.5 degrees south latitude.
Likely Origin: NASA officials stated that the proximity of this new crater to Luna-25’s estimated impact point suggests that it is likely a result of the Luna-25 mission’s crash rather than a natural impactor.
This discovery highlights the precision and capabilities of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in monitoring and studying the lunar surface. It also provides valuable information about the aftermath of Luna-25’s mission on the Moon.