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Solar System Exploration
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7K-L1S/5L Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: This was the second Soviet attempt to use a giant N1 rocket to launch a lunar orbiter.

Accomplishments: None. During launch, the N1's first stage exploded, engulfing the launch pad in fire and damaging buildings within a several-mile radius. The orbiter's launch-escape system, however, operated flawlessly and enabled the orbiter to land safely 2 km from the pad.

Key Dates
3 Jul 1969:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
An investigation found the spacecraft crashed because an unknown object went tinto the pump of a first-stage engine.

The rocket caught fire, but rose 200 meters off the pad before it crashed in a fiery explosion.

The mission's payload was safely ejected from the crashing rocket.
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Last Updated: 24 Nov 2010