Launch Date Mar. 21, 1964
Launch Site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia |
Launch Site 1
Destination Earth’s Moon
Type Lander
Status Unsuccessful
Nation Soviet Union
Alternate Names


This was the Soviet Union's fourth attempt to safely land a spacecraft on the Moon. The lander was equipped with an imaging system and a radiation detector.


None. A malfunction caused a premature engine cutoff and the spacecraft failed to reach Earth orbit.

Key Dates

Mar. 21, 1964: Launch

In Depth

This fourth Soviet attempt to achieve a soft-landing on the Moon failed to reach an intermediate orbit around Earth.

During the boost phase, the launcher's third-stage engine's main liquid oxygen valve failed to open when the valve rod broke off. As a result, the third-stage engine never reached full thrust and eventually cut off prematurely at T+489 seconds. The spacecraft never reached Earth orbit.


Launch Vehicle: 8K78M (no. T15000-20)

Spacecraft Mass: c. 1,420 kg

Spacecraft Instruments:

  1. imaging system
  2. radiation 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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