Launch Date April 9, 1960 | 16:07:43 UT
Launch Site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia | Launch Site 1 ​
Destination Earth's Moon
Type Flyby
Status Unsuccessful
Nation Soviet Union
Alternate Names Unnamed Luna


Like Luna 3 and its unsuccessful follow-up mission, this Soviet spacecraft was designed to photograph the far side of the Moon and gather data on interplanetary space.


None. The launch vehicle broke apart 10 seconds after launch, scattering debris around the launch site. Explosions shattered many nearby windows.

In Depth

This was the last of the "first-generation" Soviet probes to the Moon. Like its immediate predecessor, it was designed to photograph the far side of the Moon.

Unfortunately, the probe never left Earth's atmosphere. Instead, immediately after launch, at T+10 seconds, the launch vehicle began to fall apart. As each strap-on fell away, parts of the booster landed separately over a large area near the launch site. Thundering explosions broke windows in many nearby buildings.


Launch Vehicle: 8K72 (no. Il-9a)

Spacecraft Mass: Unknown

Spacecraft Instruments:

  1. Yenisey-2 photographic-TV imaging
  2. micrometeoroid detector
  3. cosmic-ray detector

Selected References

Siddiqi, Asif A. Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, NASA, 2002.

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