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astronautix.com Luna E-1A

Luna 2 / E-1A
Luna 2 / E-1A -

Credit: NASA. 10,362 bytes. 270 x 298 pixels.



Class: Planetary. Type: Lunar. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: OKB-1.

First probe to impact lunar surface. Delivered a pennant to the surface of the Moon and conducted research during flight to the Moon.


Specification

Total Mass: 387 kg.


Luna E-1A Chronology


18 June 1959 Luna Program: Luna. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Luna 8K72. FAILURE: Inertial system failed at 153 seconds after launch. Vehicle destroyed by range safety.
12 September 1959 Luna 2 Program: Luna. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Luna 8K72. Mass: 387 kg.

First probe to impact lunar surface. Delivered a pennant to the surface of the Moon and conducted research during flight to the Moon. Impacted Moon 13 Sep 1959 at 22:02:04 UT, Latitude 29.10 N, Longitude 0.00 - Palus Putredinis, east of Mare Serenitatis near the Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus craters. After launch and attainment of escape velocity, Luna 2 separated from its third stage, which travelled along with it towards the Moon. On 13 September the spacecraft released a bright orange cloud of sodium gas which aided in spacecraft tracking and acted as an experiment on the behavior of gas in space. On 14 September, after 33.5 hours of flight, radio signals from Luna 2 abruptly ceased, indicating it had impacted on the Moon. Some 30 minutes after Luna 2, the third stage of its rocket also impacted the Moon. The mission confirmed that the Moon had no appreciable magnetic field, and found no evidence of radiation belts at the Moon.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .