Soviet Russia put the first satellite, dog and person in space and the first man-made object on the moon – a rocket booster that was crashed deliberately onto the lunar surface in 1959, ten years before Neil Armstrong landed there. Putin’s Russia wanted to show it could still compete in space while waging war on Earth, but it didn’t go well. Its Luna 25 mission to the moon’s South Pole spun out of control and “ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the moon” on Saturday, Roscosmos said. This crash was not on purpose. It was relegated to eighth in the running order on state TV news but lamented by Mikhail Marov, a 90 year-old veteran of the Soviet space programme who told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper the mission may have been his “last hope” for a revival of Roscosmos’s glory days. Reuters noted that Marov was hospitalised soon afterwards, for reasons undisclosed. India is left poised to become the first country to explore the moon’s South Pole, parts of which never see the sun and may have water ice near the surface. India’s Chandrayaan-3 probe is due to land on Wednesday.