A RUSSIAN scientist who worked on Putin’s disastrous moon mission has been rushed to hospital after he demanded “no cover ups”.
Top astronomer Mikhail Marov suffered a “sharp deterioration” in his health after the Luna-25 probe smashed into the lunar surface.
Marov, 90, was a reportedly a key consultant on the mission – and is one of the most respected physcists and astronomers in Russia.
He was an academic grandee and had worked on previous space missions for the Soviet Union.
And he had hailed the Luna-25 mission as the culmination of his life’s work.
Russia was once the leading force in space exploration in the 1950s – putting the first satellite and first man into orbit during the Cold War.
But they were quickly overtaken by the US in the space race, who then put a man on the moon in 1969.
Putin had personally ordered the Luna-25 launch – which would have been the first Russian lunar visit in 47 years.
Vlad has been keen to restablish Russia as a leading scientific power – and to exploit space.
The unmanned spacecraft instead crashed on the surface of the moon after spinning out of control.
Before he was suddenly taken to hospital – the elderly Marov had demanded no cover up of the reasons for the failure.
And suspicions have already been raised of endemic corruption in the space industry in Russia.
Luna-25’s failure is expected to trigger a blame game with Putin firing those he holds responsible for Russia’s humiliation.
Professor Marov, an ardent proponent on the moon mission described in some reports as its scientific director, was devastated over the failed landing.
And he made clear this was the reason for his sudden hospitalisation in Moscow’s elite Central Clinical Hospital (TsKB).
He is a giant of spaceship design, and expert on the moon, Mars and Venus.
He made clear Luna-25 was his “last hope to see the revival of our lunar programme” and this was now dashed.
“It’s sad that we didn’t manage to land the device,” he said.
He demanded that the reasons should not be hushed up.
“There was a mistake in the algorithms for launching into near-lunar orbit,” he said.
“It must be found.
“For the specialists who will be involved in the work of the commission, this will not be a big problem.
“I think the answer will be found in the foreseeable future.”
From hospital Marov – a Soviet-era space giant – told reporters: “I am under observation.
“How can I not worry? This has been very much a matter of my life. It’s all very hard.”
Russia must return to space and landing on the moon, he demanded.
The spacecraft spun out of control as it was being prepared for pre-landing.
“The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the Moon,” admitted Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
It was the most ambitious space project of Putin’s almost 24 year as the de-facto leader of Russia.
Russia had not attempted a moon mission since Luna-24 in 1976, when Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev ruled the Kremlin.
Russian sources are already blaming endemic corruption inside the agency for the failure of the mission.
They are questioning the future of Yury Borisov, a Putin-loyalist and ex-deputy premier now at the helm of the Russian Space Agency.
He is accused of ending probes into corruption and misuse of budgets at the space agency.