The failure of the Russian space program: Luna-25 and Russia's permanent problems

soyuz 4

The saying goes, better late than never and today we honor it in this section. Something we would strongly recommend Roscosmos do in its next misadventures beyond Earth orbit. The Russian lunar lander Luna 25 crashed into the surface of our satellite on August 19. A day after the first dubious rumors, the news was officially confirmed through the agency's Telegram.

WhatsApp Image 2023 08 11 at 01.20.23
Image of Luna 25 being hoisted for installation atop the Soyuz rocket. Source: Roscosmos

And what do we call this?

That Russia's space program is falling apart is something that has been discussed at length on this website before. In fact, there are entire weeks that revolve around the disintegration of the technical capacity of the Soviet Union's main heir. But as the Anglicans say, first things firstFirst things first.

Landing on the Moon is incredibly complicated, but really no one, or almost no one within the space world, believed that it would be possible for Luna 25 to achieve it. In fact, if Luna 25 had managed to begin landing maneuvers, we would have considered the mission little less than a success. However, they did not even reach that minimum acceptable bar and therefore it is time to go with the savage that we reserve for flagrant errors at Roscosmos.

And we say it with a mocking tone: Luna 25 is the Russian mission that went the furthest since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

GIF from NASA showing the before and after area of the impact zone.

Let's see who covers that hole

The crater that Luna 25 has left on our satellite is not exactly what we think of with that phrase. However, the allegory is wonderful.

Russia must now face the disappointment of having failed, but it is not only that, there was also a very important component of prestige. That India achieved the same objective that Russia aspired to just a week later raised many blisters. While Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, exacerbated his ultra-nationalism with the success of Chandrayaan 3, Putin remained silent. And he remained silent, because obviously, a failure in space at a time when Russia most needs technical prestige given the disastrous performance of its military apparatus. Without its military prestige, nor its space prestige, the long shadow that the Soviet Union cast over its successor is fading and what is left behind is not very meritorious.

But apart from the black hole that is Russia's current reputation, even among its allies, there is another one related to space, the budget. It's easy, in an autocracy if you don't comply with what the leader in power wants, you lose his favor. And it is clear that Roscosmos has not complied.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the space agency, like the defense complex, was used by its different administrators to loot the state. Be careful, with the approval of the supreme plunderer, Vladimir Putin. This will not now be possible with a significant reduction in funding. This has not been announced, but in our opinion, we believe it will not take long. Just as it did not take long for a purge to begin among the experts in charge of the mission.

3529494E 5258 4A12 B22ED9AB197D715C source

Unfortunately, the Russian space program is approaching an abyss. It is something that has been known for many years, almost a decade now. But looking at the final results of the programs at that time, one doubts whether he was not always lost. After Luna 25 there is nothing serious on the horizon, except perhaps Luna 26, but there is a significant risk of cancellation. And they will not learn and follow his doctrine of smoke, lies and slides.