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Solar System Exploration
Luna 2
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Luna 2
Luna 2 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Luna 2, originally named Second Cosmic Rocket, was the sixth Soviet attempt to send a probe crashing into the Moon - and the first success. The spacecraft also carried sensors to study interplanetary space and sodium gas to enable Earthbound observers to follow its progress.

Accomplishments: Luna 2 was the first object of human origin to make contact with another celestial body. The spacecraft scattered spherical emblems of the Soviet Union on the lunar surface. The spacecraft's sensors found no evidence of a lunar magnetic field or radiation belt.

Key Dates
12 Sep 1959:  Launch (06:39:42 UT)
14 Sep 1959:  Lunar Impact (23:02:23 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Luna 2 Facts Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon.

It scattered Soviet emblems (right) on impact.

The spacecraft also released sodium gas so it could be tracked from Earth.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010