“The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the moon,” Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said Sunday.
On Saturday, the agency said it had a problem with the craft and lost contact with it.
The unmanned robot lander was set to land on the moon’s south pole Monday, ahead of an Indian craft scheduled to land on the south pole later this week.
Scientists are eager to explore the south pole because they believe water may be there and that the water could be transformed by future astronauts into air and rocket fuel.
Russia’s last moon launch was in 1976, during the Soviet era.
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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