Luna 16 known as Lunnik 16, was an unmanned space mission, part of the Soviet Luna program. Luna 16 was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth after five unsuccessful similar attempts; the sample was returned from Mare Fecunditatis. It represented the first lunar sample return mission by the Soviet Union and was the third lunar sample return mission overall, following the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions; the spacecraft consisted of two attached stages, an ascent stage mounted on top of a descent stage. The descent stage was a cylindrical body with four protruding landing legs, fuel tanks, a landing radar, a dual descent-engine complex. A main descent engine was used to slow the craft until it reached a cutoff point, determined by the on-board computer based on altitude and velocity. After cutoff a bank of lower-thrust jets was used for the final landing; the descent stage acted as a launch pad for the ascent stage. The ascent stage was a smaller cylinder with a rounded top.
It carried. The spacecraft descent stage was equipped with a television camera and temperature monitors, telecommunications equipment, an extendable arm with a drilling rig for the collection of a lunar soil sample; the Luna 16 automated station was launched toward the Moon from a preliminary Earth orbit and after one mid-course correction on 13 September it entered a circular 111 km with 70° inclination lunar orbit on 17 September 1970. The lunar gravity was studied from this orbit. After two orbital adjustments were performed on 18 September and 19 September the perilune was decreased to 15.1 km, as well as the inclination altered in preparation for landing. At perilune at 05:12 UT on 20 September, the main braking engine was fired, initiating the descent to the lunar surface. Six minutes at 05:18 UT, the spacecraft safely soft-landed in its target area at 0°41' south latitude and 56°18' east longitude, in the northeast area of Mare Fecunditatis 100 kilometers west of Webb crater and 150 km north of Langrenus crater.
This was the first landing made in the lunar night side. The main descent engine cut off at an altitude of 20 m, the landing jets cut off at 2 m height at a velocity less than 2.4 m/s, followed by vertical free fall. The mass of the spacecraft at landing was 1,880 kilograms. Less than an hour after landing, at 06:03 UT, an automatic drill penetrated the lunar surface to collect a soil sample. After drilling for seven minutes, the drill reached a stop at 35 centimeters depth and withdrew its sample and lifted it in an arc to the top of the spacecraft, depositing the lunar material in a small spherical capsule mounted on the main spacecraft bus; the column of regolith in the drill tube was transferred to the soil sample container. After 26 hours and 25 minutes on the lunar surface, at 07:43 UT on 21 September, the spacecraft's upper stage lifted off from the Moon; the lower stage of Luna 16 remained on the lunar surface and continued transmission of lunar temperature and radiation data. Three days on 24 September, after a direct ascent traverse with no mid-course corrections, the capsule, with its 101 grams of lunar soil, reentered Earth's atmosphere at a velocity of 11 kilometers per second.
The capsule parachuted down 80 kilometers southeast of the town of Jezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 05:25 UT on 24 September 1970. Analysis of the dark basalt material indicated a close resemblance to soil recovered by the American Apollo 12 mission. According to the Bochum Observatory in Germany and good-quality television pictures were returned by the spacecraft. Luna 16 was a landmark success for the Soviets in their deep-space exploration program. Three tiny samples of the Luna 16 soil were sold at Sotheby's auction for $442,500 in 1993. A series of 10-kopeck stamps was issued in 1970 to commemorate the flight of Luna 16 lunar probe and depicted the main stages of the programme: soft landing on Moon, launch of the lunar soil sample return capsule, parachute assisted landing back on Earth. Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes Lunar Orbiter 4 image showing the landing site of Luna 16 in Mare Fecunditatis. Zarya - Luna 16 chronology NASA NSSDC Master Catalog
Kosmos 111 was the first Soviet attempt to orbit a spacecraft around the Moon. The design was similar to the successful Luna 10 spacecraft. Kosmos 111 was produced in less than a month, one of two spacecraft developed from the E-6 lander bus in a crash program to upstage America's Lunar Orbiter series and to commemorate the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party.. Launched on March 1, 1966 at 11:03:49 UTC via Molniya 8K78M rocket from 31/6 (, the mission was a failure; the Blok-L upper stage failed to send the spacecraft on a lunar trajectory. It re-entered the Earth's atmosphere two days later; the craft weighed 14,240lbs and was not acknowledged to be a Luna-series vehicle after its destruction. Zarya - Luna programme chronology
The Molniya, GRAU Index 8K78, was a modification of the well-known R-7 Semyorka rocket and had four stages. The 8K78 resulted from a crash program by the Korolev Bureau to develop a booster for launching planetary probes. A larger third stage was added along with a fourth stage, designed to fire in-orbit to send the payload out of LEO; the basic R-7 core was structurally strengthened and given more powerful engines. A rushed development produced multiple malfunctions of the upper stages, which led to its being replaced by the improved Molniya-M in 1964, but there were enough 8K78s left to continue flying them into 1967. Molniya was a minor revision adapted for launch of some Luna series space probes. Length: 43.440 m Diameter: 10.300 m Launch mass: 305,000 kg Molniya-M Soyuz launch vehicle Voskhod rocket Venera 4V-2 "Molniya-M Carrier Rocket". РКЦ Прогресс. Retrieved 7 October 2014
Luna 3, or E-2A No.1 was a Soviet spacecraft launched in 1959 as part of the Luna programme. It was the first-ever mission to photograph the far side of the Moon and the third Soviet space probe to be sent to the neighborhood of the Moon. Though it returned rather poor pictures by standards, the historic, never-before-seen views of the far side of the Moon caused excitement and interest when they were published around the world, a tentative Atlas of the Far Side of the Moon was created after image processing improved the pictures; these views showed mountainous terrain different from the near side, only two dark, low-lying regions which were named Mare Moscoviense and Mare Desiderii. Mare Desiderii was found to be composed of a smaller mare, Mare Ingenii, several other dark craters; the reason for this difference between the two sides of the Moon is still not understood, but it seems that most of the dark lavas that flowed out to produce the maria formed under the Earth-facing half. Luna 3 was followed by the United States with Ranger 7, Ranger 8, Ranger 9.
The space probe was a wide flange near the top. The probe 120 cm at its maximum diameter at the flange. Most of the cylindric section was 95 cm in diameter; the canister was hermetically pressurized to about 0.22 atmosphere. Several solar cells were mounted on the outside of the cylinder, these provided electric power to the storage batteries inside the space probe. Shutters for thermal control were positioned along the cylinder and opened to expose a radiating surface when the internal temperature exceeded 25 °C; the upper hemisphere of the probe held the covered opening for the cameras. Four antennas protruded from the top of two from its bottom. Other scientific equipment was mounted on the outside, including micrometeoroid and cosmic ray detectors, the Yenisey-2 imaging system; the gas jets for its attitude control system were mounted on the lower end of the spacecraft. Several photoelectric cells helped maintain orientation with respect to the Moon. There were no rocket motors for course corrections.
Its interior held the cameras and the photographic film processing system, radio transmitter, storage batteries, gyroscopic units, circulating fans for temperature control. It was spin-stabilized for most of its flight, but its three-axis attitude control system was activated while taking photos. Luna 3 was radio-controlled from ground stations in the Soviet Union. After launching on a Luna 8K72 rocket over the North Pole, the Blok-E escape stage was shut down by radio control to put Luna 3 on its course to the Moon. Initial radio contact showed that the signal from the space probe was only about one-half as strong as expected, the internal temperature was rising; the spacecraft spin axis was reoriented and some equipment was shut down, resulting in a temperature drop from 40 °C to about 30 °C. At a distance of 60,000 to 70,000 km from the Moon, the orientation system was turned on and the spacecraft rotation was stopped; the lower end of the craft was pointed at the Sun, shining on the far side of the Moon.
The space probe passed within 6,200 km of the Moon near its south pole at the closest lunar approach at 14:16 UT on 6 October 1959, continued on over the far side. On 7 October, the photocell on the upper end of the space probe detected the sunlit far side of the Moon, the photography sequence was started; the first picture was taken at 03:30 UT at a distance of 63,500 km from the Moon, the last picture was taken 40 minutes from a distance of 66,700 km. A total of 29 pictures were taken. After the photography was complete the spacecraft resumed spinning, passed over the north pole of the Moon and returned towards the Earth. Attempts to transmit the pictures to the Soviet Union began on October 8 but the early attempts were unsuccessful due to the low signal strength; as Luna 3 drew closer to the Earth, a total of about 17 viewable but poor quality photographs were transmitted by 18 October. All contact with the probe was lost on 22 October 1959; the space probe was believed to have burned up in the Earth's atmosphere in March or April 1960.
Another possibility was. The gravity assist maneuver was first used in 1959 when Luna 3 photographed the far side of Earth's Moon. After launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Luna 3 passed behind the Moon from south to north and headed back to Earth; the gravity of the Moon changed the spacecraft's orbit. The return orbit was calculated so that the spacecraft passed again over the Northern hemisphere where the Soviet ground stations were located; the maneuver relied on research performed under the direction of Mstislav Keldysh at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics. The purpose of this experiment was to obtain photographs of the lunar surface as the spacecraft flew by the Moon; the imaging system was designated Yenisey-2 and consisted of a dual-lens camera AFA-E1, an automatic film processing unit, a scanner. The lenses on the camera were a 200 mm focal length, f/5.6 aperture objective and a 500 mm, f/9.5 objective. The camera carried 40 frames of temperature- and radiation-resistant 35 mm isochrome film.
The 200 mm objective could image the full disk of the Moon and the 500 mm could take an image of a region on the surface. The camera was fixed in the spacecraft and pointing was achieved by rotating the craft itself. Luna 3 was the first successful three-axis stabilized spacecraft. During most of the mission, the s
The Luna programme called Lunik or Lunnik by western media, was a series of robotic spacecraft missions sent to the Moon by the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1976. Fifteen were successful, each designed as either an orbiter or lander, accomplished many firsts in space exploration, they performed many experiments, studying the Moon's chemical composition, gravity and radiation. Twenty-four spacecraft were formally given the Luna designation; those that failed to reach orbit were not publicly acknowledged at the time, not assigned a Luna number. Those that failed in low Earth orbit were given Cosmos designations; the estimated cost of the Luna programme was about $4.5 billion. Luna 1 missed its intended impact with the Moon and became the first spacecraft to fall into orbit around the Sun. Luna 2 mission hit the Moon's surface, becoming the first man-made object to reach the Moon. Luna 3 rounded the Moon that year, returned the first photographs of its far side, which can never be seen from Earth.
Luna 9 became the first probe to achieve a soft landing on another planetary body. It returned five black and white stereoscopic circular panoramas, which were the first close-up shots of the Lunar surface. Luna 10 became the first artificial satellite of the Moon. Luna 17 and Luna 21 carried the Lunokhod vehicles. Another major achievement of the Luna programme, with Luna 16, Luna 20 and Luna 24, was the ability to collect samples of lunar soil and return them to Earth; the programme returned 0.326 kg of lunar samples. The Luna missions were the first space-exploration sample return missions to rely on advanced robotics. Luna 15 designed to return soil samples from the lunar surface, underwent its mission at the same time as the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were on the lunar surface when Luna 15 began its descent, the spacecraft crashed into a mountain minutes later. While the programme was active, it was Soviet practice not to release any details of missions which had failed to achieve orbit.
This resulted in Western observers assigning their own designations to the missions, for example Luna E-1 No.1, the first failure of 1958 which NASA believed was associated with the Luna programme, was known as Luna 1958A. NASA identified a spacecraft which it referred to as Luna 1966A as having launched on 30 April 1966, a spacecraft referred to as Luna 1969B as having launched on 15 April 1969, a spacecraft referred to as Luna 1970B as having launched on 19 February 1970; when details of Soviet launches were disclosed, no launches of Luna spacecraft were found to have occurred on those dates. Luna Luna-Glob Soviet moonshot Soviet space program Lunar and Planetary Department Moscow University Luna Series Profile by NASA's Solar System Exploration Encyclopædia Britannica, Luna Space Probe Soviet Luna Chronology Soviet Lunar Images Exploring the Moon: Luna Missions
Luna 9, internal designation Ye-6 No.13, was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna programme. On 3 February 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon; the lander had a mass of 99 kilograms. It used a landing bag to survive the impact speed of 22 kilometres per hour, it was a hermetically sealed container with radio equipment, a program timing device, heat control systems, scientific apparatus, power sources, a television system. Luna 9 was launched by a Molniya-M rocket, serial number 103-32, flying from Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. Liftoff took place at 11:41:37 UTC on 31 January 1966; the first three stages of the four-stage carrier rocket injected the payload and fourth stage into low Earth orbit, at an altitude of 168 by 219 kilometres and 51.8 degrees inclination. The fourth stage, a Blok-L fired to raise the orbit's perigee to a new apogee 500,000 kilometres, before deploying Luna 9 into a elliptical geocentric orbit.
The spacecraft spun itself up to 0.67 rpm using nitrogen jets. On 1 February at 19:29 UT, a mid-course correction took place involving a 48-second burn and resulting in a delta-V of 71.2 metres per second. At an altitude of 8,300 kilometres from the Moon, the spacecraft was oriented for the firing of its retrorockets and its spin was stopped in preparation for landing. From this moment the orientation of the spacecraft was supported by measurements of directions to the Sun and the Earth using an opto-mechanical system. At 74.885 kilometres above the lunar surface, the radar altimeter triggered the jettison of the side modules, the inflation of the air bags and the firing of the retro rockets. At 250 metres from the surface, the main retrorocket was turned off by the integrator of an acceleration having reached the planned velocity of the braking manoeuver; the four outrigger engines were used to slow the craft. 5 metres above the lunar surface, a contact sensor touched the ground triggering the engines to be shut down and the landing capsule to be ejected.
The craft landed at 22 kilometres per hour The spacecraft bounced several times before coming to rest in Oceanus Procellarum west of Reiner and Marius craters at 7.08 N, 64.37 W on 3 February 1966 at 18:45:30 UT. The spacecraft was developed in the design bureau known as OKB-1, under Chief Designer Sergei Korolev; the first 11 Luna missions were unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. At that time the project was transferred to Lavochkin design bureau since OKB-1 was busy with a manned expedition to the Moon. Luna 9 was the twelfth attempt at a soft-landing by the Soviet Union. All operations prior to landing occurred without fault, the 58-centimetre spheroid ALS capsule landed on the Moon at 18:45:30 UT on 3 February 1966 west of the craters Reiner and Marius in the Ocean of Storms. Five minutes after touchdown, Luna 9 began transmitting data to Earth, but it was seven hours before the probe began sending the first of nine images of the surface of the Moon. 250 seconds after landing in the Oceanus Procellarum, four petals which covered the top half of the spacecraft opened outward for increased stability.
The television camera system began a photographic survey of the lunar environment. Seven radio sessions with a total of 8 hours and 5 minutes were transmitted, as well as three series of TV pictures. After assembly the photographs gave a panoramic view of the immediate lunar surface, comprising views of nearby rocks and of the horizon, 1.4 kilometres away. The pictures from Luna 9 were not released by the Soviet authorities, but scientists at Jodrell Bank Observatory in England, monitoring the craft, noticed that the signal format used was identical to the internationally agreed Radiofax system used by newspapers for transmitting pictures; the Daily Express rushed a suitable receiver to the Observatory and the pictures from Luna 9 were decoded and published worldwide. The BBC speculated that the spacecraft's designers deliberately fitted the probe with equipment conforming to the standard, to enable reception of the pictures by Jodrell Bank; the radiation detector, the only scientific instrument on board, measured a dosage of 30 millirads per day.
The mission determined that a spacecraft would not sink into the lunar dust. Last contact with the spacecraft was at 22:55 UTC on 6 February 1966. Zarya - Luna 9 chronology Animation of mission Luna 9 panoramas