Russia's first Moon mission in 47 years ended in failure after its unmanned Luna-25 spacecraft spun out of control and crashed into the moon’s surface. Russia’s space program has declined since its glory days when it was the first to launch a satellite into Earth orbit in 1957, and it was the first to put a man in space in 1961. This was the first time the country tried to send a spacecraft to the moon since 1976. Russia had been racing against India, which will attempt to land on the moon's south pole this week.
Class discussion: All space missions are very difficult and expensive. How have the billions of dollars invested in these missions paid off? Worldwide communication and navigation networks? Amazing advances in science and technology? How can space missions improve or harm a nation’s military security? The first space race was between the Soviet Union and United States during the Cold War. Who are the major powers in space today? Should we continue to spend billions of dollars on our space program? Why or why not?