Mission Type: Flyby
Launch Vehicle: 8K72 (no. 1l-9)
Launch Site: NIIP-5 / launch site 1
Spacecraft Mass: unknown
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) Yenisey-2 photographic-TV imaging system; 2) micrometeoroid detector and 3) cosmic-ray detector
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi
After the spectacular success of Luna 3, this spacecraft was launched to return more detailed photos of the lunar far side. The Ye-3 class vehicle was essentially a Ye-2A probe using a modified radio-telemetry system, but with the old Yenisey-2 imaging system. (A more advanced Ye-3 type with a new imaging system had been abandoned earlier.)
During the launch, the probe received insufficient velocity after premature third-stage engine cutoff. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 200,000 kilometers and then fell back to Earth and burned up in Earth's atmosphere, much like some of the early American Pioneer probes.