National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Multimedia
Facebook Twitter YouTube Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr iTunes
Follow Us
Luna 3
Luna 3 (click to enlarge)
 
 

Luna 3
Date: 4 Oct 1959

Luna 3, an automatic interplanetary station, was the third spacecraft successfully launched to the moon and the first to return images of the lunar far side. The spacecraft returned very indistinct pictures, but, through computer enhancement, a tentative atlas of the lunar farside was produced from the images.

These first views of the lunar far side show mountainous terrain, very different from the near side, and only two dark regions which were named Mare Moscovrae ("Sea of Moscow") and Mare Desiderii ("Sea of Dreams"). (Mare Desiderii was later found to be composed of a smaller mare, Mare Ingenii ("Sea of Ingenuity") and other dark craters.)

Credit: NASA



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 Writer: Autumn Burdick
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
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 22 Apr 2013