This page no longer updated from 31 October 2001. Latest version can be found at Luna Ye-8

Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8.

The basic Ye-8 was deigned to soft land on the Moon and deliver an automatic, self-propelled lunar vehicle, Lunokhod, for purposes of surveying sites for later manned landings and lunar bases. It was also intended that the spacecraft would provide a radio homing beacon for precision landings of later manned spacecraft. The design had its origins in Korolevís L2 project of 1963. This evolved within OKB-1 to the globular Ye-8 of 1965 before further development of unmanned planetary spacecraft was passed to the Lavochkin bureau. There the design was refined and modified for a single launch by a Proton launch vehicle. By the time the spacecraft flew, America had won the manned moon race and mission objectives were to collect images of the lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laser ranging experiments from Earth, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study mechanical properties of the lunar surface material.

Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5. Unmanned lunar soil sample return.

Spacecraft: Lunokhod.

Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-LS. Lunar surface mapping. Lunar Orbit (Selenocentric). Investigation of the moon and near-lunar space from the orbit of an artificial satellite.

Spacecraft: Luna Ye-8-5M. Lunar sample return. Conduct of further scientific investigation of the moon and circumlunar space.

Back to Index
Last update 28 March 2001.
Contact Mark Wade with any corrections or comments.
Conditions for use of drawings, pictures, or other materials from this site..
© Mark Wade, 2001 .