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Ye-1A/5 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Impact
Launch Vehicle: 8K72 (no. I1-7)
Launch Site: NIIP-5 / launch site 1
Spacecraft Mass: c. 390 kg (with upper stage)
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) three-component magnetometer; 2) two gas-discharge counters; 3) piezoelectric detector; 4) scintillation counter and 5) ion traps
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,

The Soviet Ye-1A probe, like the Ye-1, was designed for lunar impact. Engineers had incorporated some minor modifications to the scientific instruments (a modified antenna housing for the magnetometer, six instead of four gas-discharge counters, and an improved piezoelectric detector) as a result of information received from the first Cosmic Rocket (Luna 1) and the American Pioneer 4.

The launch was originally scheduled for 16 June but was postponed for two days as a result of the negligence of a young lieutenant who inadvertently permitted fuelling of the upper stage with the wrong propellant. During the actual launch, one of the gyroscopes of the inertial guidance system failed at T+153 seconds, and the wayward booster was subsequently destroyed by command from the ground.

Key Dates
18 Jun 1959:  Launch (08:08 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Ye-1A/5 Facts The launch was delayed for two days after the upper stage was accidentally filled with wrong fuel.

Failed Soviet missions often were not given names.

Cold war tensions were increasing between the Soviet Union and the U.S. as both nations launched ambitious lunar exploration efforts.
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010