By Chris King •
Updated: 20 Aug 2023 • 20:02
Image of Russia's Luna-25 space module.
Credit: Wikimedia/By Pline - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
ONE of Russia’s top space scientists was rushed to hospital this Sunday, August 20, following the disastrous crash that ended Moscow’s recent Moon mission.
Mikhail Marov is believed to have been involved in a consultancy role as Vladimir Putin’s Roscosmos space agency attempted to land a module on the Moon for the first time in 50 years. However, some reports placed him as the ‘scientific director’.
The agency announced yesterday that a ‘problem’ had occurred with its Luna-25 probe. ‘At about 14:57 Moscow time, communication with the Luna-25 spacecraft was interrupted’, the state corporation reported, according to TASS.
Earlier today, Roscosmos announced: ‘According to the results of a preliminary analysis, due to the deviation of the actual parameters of the impulse from the calculated ones, the Luna-25 spacecraft switched to an off-design orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon’, added the news outlet.
Before being admitted to Moscow’s elite Central Clinical Hospital (TsKB), Marov is said to have demanded that there should be no ‘cover-ups’ over the failed space mission. Shortly after, the 90-year-old astronomer is reported to have noticed a ‘sharp deterioration’ in his health.
Marov was a veteran of the former Soviet Union’s space missions. The academic grandee was one of the country’s most respected physicists and astronomers and had previously worked on numerous projects.
He is an expert in the design of spacecraft and an authority on the Moon, Mars and Venus. Marov said that the Luna-25 mission was his: ‘last hope to see the revival of our lunar programme’, whose failure reportedly left him devastated.
Speaking from the medical facility, he said: ‘It’s sad that we didn’t manage to land the device. There was a mistake in the algorithms for launching into near-lunar orbit. It must be found’.
‘For the specialists who will be involved in the work of the commission, this will not be a big problem. I think the answer will be found in the foreseeable future’, Marov assured, according to The Sun, this Sunday 20.
He added: ‘I am under observation. How can I not worry? This has been very much a matter of my life. It’s all very hard’.
Vladimir Putin personally ordered the launch of Luna-25 as he attempted to beat India’s Vikram space module which is scheduled to land on August 23.
Moscow’s last mission was in 1976 when the Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev ordered Luna-24 to be sent to the Moon. Luna-25 apparently spun out of control and plummeted onto the Moon during the preparation for its pre-landing.
In a statement, Roscosmos said: ‘The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon’.
According to sources, it is believed that fingers are already being pointed inside Roscosmos over the mission’s embarrassing failure.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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