A lunar lander has disabled after hitting the lunar surface, the Russian space agency said.
The Luna-25 probe, Russia’s first lunar mission in nearly 50 years, crashed on the moon after an incident during a pre-landing maneuver, the Russian space agency said.
Communication with Luna-25 was lost at 2:57 p.m. (1157 GMT) on Saturday, Roscosmos said.
According to preliminary findings, “the lander was lost after impact with the lunar surface,” Roscosmos said on Sunday.
“Efforts to locate and contact the craft on August 19th and 20th were unsuccessful.”
The space agency said it would investigate the cause of the crash, and there was no indication of what technical problems might have occurred.
With Luna-25, Moscow hopes to build on the legacy of its Soviet-era Luna program, marking a return to independent lunar exploration in the face of growing isolation from the West.
The 800 kg Luna-25 spacecraft made a soft landing on the moon’s south pole on Monday, a first in history.
The Russian spacecraft was part of a larger power race to explore an area of the moon that scientists think may hold frozen water and precious elements.
Roughly the size of a small car, it aims to operate for a year at the South Pole, where scientists from NASA and other space agencies have found traces of frozen water in craters in recent years.
The presence of water has implications for large space forces, which would allow them to stay on the moon for longer periods of time, which would help mine lunar resources.
Earlier, Roskosmos said it had received the first results from the Luna-25 mission and that they were being analyzed.
The agency also released images of the moon’s Zeeman crater taken from the spacecraft. The crater is the third deepest in the Moon’s southern hemisphere, 190 km (118 mi) in diameter and eight kilometers (five mi) deep.
Roscosmos said the data obtained so far will provide information on the chemical composition of the lunar soil and facilitate the operation of instruments designed to study the near surface of the moon.
Its equipment recorded “a micro-meteorite impact event”.