National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Luna 9
Missions to the Moon
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
Luna 9
Luna 9 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Luna 9 was designed to make a survivable landing and transmit pictures from the surface of the Moon.

Accomplishments: The spacecraft made the first survivable landing and sent first pictures from the surface of a celestial body, beating America's Surveyor lander by about four months. Luna 9's landing was harder than that of Surveyor, but good enough for its camera and radiation detector to survive and do their jobs. The mission proved that a lander would not sink into a thick layer of dust, as some models predicted.

Key Dates
31 Jan 1966:  Launch (11:41:37)
3 Feb 1966:  Lunar Landing
4 Feb 1966:  First pictures transmitted from lunar surface
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Luna 9 made the first survivable landing on the Moon.

The spacecraft was the first to send back images from the surface of another world.

England scooped the Soviets by intercepting the radio signals carrying the first photo data and releasing a picture before the USSR produced its official version.
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010