Kremlin plays down moon landing failure, says space programme will continue

FILE PHOTO: Rocket booster with Luna-25 lunar lander blasts off at Vostochny Cosmodrome

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Kremlin on Tuesday said that the failure of Russia's Luna-25 mission to the Moon earlier this month was "nothing terrible" and that the main thing was to continue Russia's space exploration program.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "This is not a reason to despair, nor to tear our hair out. This is another reason to analyse the causes (of the failure) and eliminate them next time."

Luna-25, Russia's first lunar mission since 1976, crashed into the Moon on Aug. 19 after a failed orbital manoeuvre, in what has been seen abroad as a major blow to the Russian space program. Days later, an Indian spacecraft successfully landed on the moon.

"The main thing is not to stop. Our plans are quite ambitious and they will be implemented further," Peskov said.

(Writing by Felix Light; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Mark Trevelyan)