Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black. I keep the website clean from pop-ups and annoying demands. Instead, I depend entirely on my readers to support me. Though this means I am sacrificing some income, it also means that I remain entirely independent from outside pressure. By depending solely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, no one can threaten me with censorship. You don't like what I write, you can simply go elsewhere.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

Luna-25 lost after crashing on Moon

During its last major orbital burn, Luna-25’s engines apparently fired for longer than planned so that, instead of placing it into a lower orbit, the spacecraft was de-orbited and sent crashing onto the lunar surface.

The Russian space agency noted that all measures regarding the location of the spacecraft and establishing communications with it on August 19 and 20 yielded zero results. “Preliminary analysis results suggest that a deviation between the actual and calculated parameters of the propulsion maneuver led the Luna-25 spacecraft to enter an undesignated orbit and it ceased to exist following a collision with the surface of the Moon,” Roscosmos stated.

This is a tragedy for Russia, as this mission hoped to re-establish it as one of the major players in the exploration of the solar system. Instead, we once again have a data point suggesting significant quality control problems within Russia’s aerospace industry. Its misplaced focus on providing government jobs rather than actually building and quickly flying spacecraft and rockets results too often in failure.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Max

    Sad, I was looking forward to the controversy and the entertainment value as well as the acceleration of the space race.
    I also feared what the hate full war mongers in Congress and senators would do to retaliate mindlessly using any weapon at their disposal against a Russian success.
    I hope hackers were not involved, it is rumored Chinese AI systems have infiltrated every network system of consequence. Telescopes, banking systems, insurance and medical records, university data… Might be just the beginning.
    My neighbor for 30 years was the gate keeper at Utah University computer system. He defend The U from unauthorized access… Hundreds sometimes thousands per day, mostly from China. When he retired, it was because they could no longer keep up. School records, research records, medical records, driver license records became open access.
    If they shut down the power grid… They shut off the economy. (they already had to destroy motherboards made in China because of embedded back doors… purchased for our military and spy network provided by Amazon)

    Glenn Beck interviews Charlie Duke, youngest astronaut to walk on the moon.

  • Col Beausabre

    More power to Ukraine for this tremendous achievement!

  • Jerry Greenwood

    It was portrayed in some news stories as some sort of race with Russia trying to one up India by getting to the moons surface sooner.

    I’m sure the Russians wouldn’t play that game but, either way, they got there first.

  • Jerry Greenwood: Those same garbage news stories also claimed repeatedly and ignorantly that both spacecraft were heading for Moon’s south pole, when in truth they were heading to region as far from the pole as the north coast of Alaska is from our north pole.

    Both missions were planned independently. They ended up heading for the Moon at the same time purely by coincidence. They were not “racing to get there first.”

    That there is a growing competition to explore and settle the solar system does not require creating a fake story to explain it.

  • David Ross

    “Its misplaced focus on providing government jobs rather than actually building and quickly flying spacecraft and rockets results too often in failure.”
    Might this be a veiled warning at American porkbarrel projects like the SLS and the Mars Sample Return boondoggle? You know – I believe it might!

  • Ray Van Dune

    Although I claim no evidence to indicate it, I would not be shocked if either Ukrainian or internal sabotage was involved in this mishap.

    The Russian brain-drain had been very real, and Ukraine traditionally played an outsized role in Soviet technology, especially aerospace. So there may be disaffected people within the Russian space program.

    Or was it another micrometeorite?

  • David Ross: A warning only works if you pay attention to it. I have no expectation that anyone in Washington cares in the slightest that these boondoggles are a moral and economic failure. All they care about is that they get lots of corporate donations by funding these pork projects.

  • pawn

    Rest in Pieces Luna-25.

    Indeed a tragedy for the space and lunar science community.

  • ” . . . ceased to exist following a collision with the surface of the Moon.”

    Haven’t heard that description, before. Maybe next time, it will ‘ land with extreme prejudice.’

    I was hopeful that Luna 25 would succeed. While I have no love for Russian government, I have great respect for Russian achievements in Art and Science.

  • David Eastman

    I definitely have mixed emotions. I’m glad the Russians get another wake-up call that they’re not a first-world scientific and industrial leader among nations. On the other hand, a lot of effort went into this mission, the problems come from above the level of the people involved, and it would have done some good and interesting science. On the third hand, I suspect that in the decades to come, once there are people actually living on the moon, all the lunar science done by mankind before that will amount to less than a footnote.

  • Jeff Wright

    Sad news

    You know he remembers the heyday of space firsts…and the death of a thousand cuts.

    Reuse of LVs or no…space pioneers should never be looked on as expendable.

    That photo was likely taken before the crash..and he already had the expression on his face of a man whose whole reason for being is under threat.

  • DJ

    I just have to say here I am not a Russia hater. I used to be. That was before the roles were reversed. I, like some here, would have liked to see them succeed, especially after all the effort the US is using to destroy them. I do recall that they were one only ones that landed on Venus and returned pictures. I for one think our involvement with Ukraine has been catastrophic to say the least. I had no special interest in either India’s or Russia’s moon lander. Comments here are very enjoyable and ofetn illuminating for me. I jast had to get this off my chest.

  • J Fincannon

    One of the problems of using radioisotopes on spacecraft is that they may suffer a crash landing and dispersal of the stuff. Technically a violation of Article IX. (“avoid their harmful contamination”). But I am doubtful they care.

  • Col Beausabre

    DJ is so totally wrong regarding Russia and its Fascist war of aggression that it makes your head spin BUT, this is not the time or place for that debate, so I won’t take it further..

  • Jay

    J Fincannon,
    The RTGs might have survived the impact. The ones on the failed Mars-96 mission survived reentry and the fuel used was only 200g of Pu-238. It has a half-life of 88 years.
    The RTG on Luna-25 was putting out 500 watts. It was not stated if that was thermal or electrical power. I would guess the latter.

  • Jay

    I stand corrected, it is 500 watts thermal. The published diagram shows a power consumption of 100 watts.

  • pawn

    Luna25 was the first Russian lunar probe in 47 years.

  • pawn

    Jay, link please?

    I couldn’t find the info.

    Space is cold!

  • Jay

    I can’t find the link to the original Russian translated to English diagrams anymore. The closest thing I could find about the RTGs is from a Spanish article from a few years ago here.
    Written in real Espanol.

  • pawn



  • Questioner

    To Col Beausabre:

    Your political coordinate system is rotated 180° wrong. Perhaps you can take a cue from Colonel MacGregor (with whom I agree 100%) who, if Trump wins again, has a good chance of becoming US Secretary of Defense.

    “Tucker Carlson Talks To Colonel Douglas Macgregor About The Ukraine War”

  • Questioner: So you are aware, you remain banned from commenting because of your past refusal to abide by the rules, both for obscenities and for the use of insults. Your comments always go automatically to the trash pile. I however monitor that pile, and have been allowing your recent comments to go through because you have been behaving yourself.

    If you can keep this track record going for a few more weeks, you might even get restored. Just letting you know.

  • Questioner

    It seems to me that modern Russia is having some trouble successfully replicating the Western approach to spacecraft development, may be caused by Russian/Soviet cultural heritage of engineering approach. Especially when it comes to the necessarily very high reliability of an individual exemplar of a spacecraft.

    Perhaps they should go back to the old Soviet way of accepting initial losses and using a number of exemplars of a particular spacecraft of a specific design in order to establish and increase the reliability of this particular design over time.

    In this context, one should remember the many parallel failed attempts within the framework of the Luna and Venera programs, which were necessary in order to achieve the successes on the Moon and on Venus at the same time. Roughly speaking, for every successful mission there was at least one error, which was then simply attributed to the Kosmos satellite program and thus obscured, which only really became known to the public after the fall of the Soviet Union. So it was a mistake to build only one sample of the Luna 25 probe.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *