National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Luna 22
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 22
Luna 22 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: Proton booster plus upper stage and escape stages, 8K82K + Blok D (Proton-K no. 282-02)
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Baikonu Cosmodrome, NIIP-5 / launch site 81P
Spacecraft Mass: 5,700 kg (about 1,900 kg in lunar orbit)
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) imaging system; 2) gamma-ray spectrometer; 3) radio-altimeter; 4) meteoroid detectors; 5) magnetometer; 6) cosmic-ray detectors; and 7) radiation detectors
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,

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

Luna 22 was the second of two "advanced" lunar orbiters (the first being Luna 19) designed to conduct extensive scientific surveys from orbit. Launched about a year after the termination of Lunokhod 2 operations on the lunar surface, Luna 20 performed a single midcourse correction en route the Moon on 30 May before entering lunar orbit on 2 June 1974. Initial orbital parameters were 219 x 222 kilometers at 19°35' inclination.

In addition to its primary mission of surface photography, Luna 22 also performed investigations to determine the chemical composition of the lunar surface, recorded meteoroid activity, searched for a lunar magnetic field, measured solar and cosmic radiation flux, and continued studies of the irregular magnetic field. Through various orbital changes, Luna 22 performed without any problems and continued to return photos 15 months into the mission, although its primary mission had ended by 2 April 1975. The spacecraft's maneuvering propellant was finally depleted on 2 September, and the highly successful mission was formally terminated in early November 1975.

Key Dates
29 May 1974:  Launch
2 Jun 1974:  Arrival in Lunar Orbit
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Luna 22 Facts Luna 21 was the sixth and final Soviet spacecraft dedicated to orbiting the Moon.

No major maneuvers were executed for nearly 5 months in order to reveal orbital changes which would indicate variations in the gravitational field.

The highly mission ended a few months after the spacecraft ran out propellant in September 1975.
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