“How Russia’s Moon Failure Shakes Up Its Space Team-Up with China”

Russia’s recent Luna-25 spacecraft crash on the moon has implications beyond a mere setback for President Vladimir Putin’s plans. The crash also reflects poorly on Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin’s collaborator in constructing a lunar base to rival the US and its allies in space. The mission aimed to land near the moon’s south pole, where China and Russia intended to build a joint base as announced in 2021.

Wu Yanhua, head of China’s deep space exploration, visited Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome to discuss cooperation just before the failed launch. Despite the failure, Chinese media coverage has been limited, with Xinhua only releasing a short statement.

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Hu Xijin, former editor of China’s Global Times, noted that this failure could dent Russia’s ambitions, urging against underestimating Russia despite its lunar setback.

Luna-25’s failure marks Russia’s first moon landing attempt since the Soviet era. The mishap compounds Russia’s space program troubles, including corruption, mismanagement, and sanctions. Experts suggest this was a significant opportunity for Russia to regain credibility in space exploration.

China, in contrast, succeeded in landing on the moon’s far side in 2019, diminishing Russia’s role in the lunar base. Pavel Luzin, a space policy researcher, notes that China recognizes limited value in partnering with Russia and suggests that cooperation prospects have dwindled.

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Previously, Russia and China aimed to synchronize lunar missions to optimize resource use for their joint base. However, the crash makes synchronization impossible, creating an opening for India, which recently launched Chandrayaan-3 with plans for a lunar south pole landing.

This development highlights the changing fortunes of Indian and Russian space programs. Previously, India relied on participation in Russia’s Luna program for lunar access, but it has since developed its independent space capabilities.

Despite the setback, China might still collaborate with Russia on space-based missile early warning systems due to Moscow’s expertise in this area.

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Nicky E. Moore: A seasoned technology news journalist on thefost.com, Nicky delivers a dynamic blend of insight and clarity. With a penchant for decoding complex tech trends, their concise yet comprehensive articles provide readers with a profound understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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