Goals: Luna 1, like three prior spacecraft in the Soviet Union's Ye-1 series, was intended to impact the Moon. The spacecraft carried instruments to study interplanetary matter, cosmic radiation and the magnetic fields of the Moon and Earth.
Accomplishments:The spacecraft was the first to escape Earth's gravity, but a guidance system malfunction caused it to miss the Moon. The spacecraft instead flew past the Moon at a distance of 6,400 km (3,976 miles). Contact with the spacecraft was lost 62 hours after launch.