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Ye-8-5/405 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Sample Return
Launch Vehicle: 8K82K + Blok D (Proton no. 247-01)
Launch Site: NIIP-5 / launch site 81
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) stereo imaging system; 2) remote arm for sample collection; and 3) radiation detector
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

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

This attempt continued the spate of failures on the robotic lunar sample-return program. On this fifth attempt to recover soil from the Moon, the Proton booster failed to deposit its payload in Earth orbit. An erroneous command shut down the second stage at T+127 seconds, and the booster was destroyed.

Subsequently, the design organization responsible for the Proton, the TsKBM, implemented a thorough review of the Proton's performance and completed a simple suborbital diagnostic flight in August 1970 to verify corrective measures.

Key Dates
6 Feb 1970:  Launch (04:16:06 UT)
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
This was the fifth unsuccessful attempt to collect lunar soil samples.

The sixth attempt -- Luna 16, also launched in 1970 -- was sucessful. It was the first robotic sample return from beyond Earth.

The Soviets capped 1970 with another success -- the deployment of the first robotic wheeled rover on another world, Lunokhod 1 (above).
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010