The Russian probe Luna-25, whose mission was to be the first spacecraft to land on the south pole of the Earth’s satellite, recorded the impact of a small meteorite on the lunar surface.
“Most likely, the small meteorite belongs to the Perseid meteor shower that the Luna-25 instrument successfully crossed during its flight to the Moon,” Russian space agency Roscomos said in a statement.
This phenomenon was recorded by the PmL dust spot detector, which can also determine the coefficient of ambient plasma.
Roscomos explained that before landing on Monday, the probe is conducting scientific experiments with equipment such as the ARIES neutral and charged particle detector, the ADRON-LR gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer.
This Thursday, the Russian spacecraft has already sent back the first images of the lunar surface with the STS-L system’s cameras.
The Russian Space Agency has published on Telegram a photo of the Zeeman Crater, which is located near the south pole of the Moon and is impossible to see from Earth.
The crater is 184 kilometers in diameter and some of its rims are up to eight kilometers high.
The probe, which departed on Aug. 11 from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East, entered orbit on Wednesday, after five days and nearly ten hours of travel.
The probe should touch the lunar surface around August 21, two days before the launch of India’s Chandrayaan-3 probe, which was launched on July 14.
Luna-25, the successor to the Soviet Luna-24, the third spacecraft to collect samples from the lunar surface in August 1976, hopes to find water in the form of ice on the satellite.
The Soviet spacecraft, Luna-2, was the first to land on said satellite in 1959, a feat the United States emulated years later with its Ranger program.
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