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Luna 5
Luna 5 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Lander
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage + Escape Stage, 8K78M (no. U103-30)
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), USSR, NIIP-5 / launch site 1
Spacecraft Mass: 1,476 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) imaging system and 2) radiation detector
References:
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.


In May 1965, Luna 5 became the first Soviet probe in two years to head for the Moon. Following the midcourse correction on 10 May, the spacecraft began spinning around its main axis due to a problem in a flotation gyroscope in the I-100 guidance system unit.

A subsequent attempt to fire the main engine failed because of ground-control error, and the engine never fired. After loss of control as a result of the gyroscope problem, Luna 5 crashed. Landing coordinates were 31° south latitude and 8° west longitude. It was the second Soviet spacecraft to land on the Moon (following Luna 2 in 1959).


Key Dates
9 May 1965:  Launch
12 May 1965:  Lunar Impact
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Luna 5 Facts This was the Soviet Union's second attempt to make a survivable landing on the Moon.

It's predecessor, Luna 2, became the first humanmade object to make contact with the Moon in 1959.

The Soviet Union launched 10 of the 15 interplanety spacecraft sent into deep space in 1965.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010