Luna 20 in Apollonius Highlands
Date: 15 Mar 2010
Luna 20 soft landed in the rugged highlands between Mare Fecunditatis and Mare Crisium in February 1972.
The Soviet Union successfully executed three robotic sample return missions as part of the Cold War competition with the United States. The first mission, Luna 16, returned a small sample (101 grams) from Mare Fecunditatis in September of 1970, a time between the US Apollo 12 and 14 manned landings. A year and half later (February 1972) Luna 20 returned 55 grams of soil from the Apollonius highlands region. Luna 24 provided the final success.
The successful Soviet Luna sample return missions returned small, but important, samples from three locations on the Moon.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University