Launch Date April 10, 1965
Launch Site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia |
Launch Site 1
Destination Earth’s Moon
Type Lander
Status Unsuccessful
Nation Soviet Union
Alternate Names

Goals

This mission was a Soviet attempt to make a soft landing on the Moon.

Accomplishments

None. A malfunction prevented the booster rocket's third-stage engine ignition. The spacecraft broke up and fell into the Pacific Ocean without reaching orbit.

Key Dates

April 10, 1965: Launch

In Depth

This was the seventh consecutive failure to accomplish a lunar soft-landing by the Soviets. On this mission, engineers redesigned the problematic I-100 guidance system that had caused most of the previous failures.

Previously, the I-100 unit had controlled both the Blok L upper stage and the spacecraft itself. On this mission (and subsequent Lunas), the fourth stage and the Ye-6 spacecraft had separate systems.

Unfortunately, this probe never reached Earth orbit. During the launch, depressurization of a nitrogen pipe for the liquid oxygen tank on the third stage had prevented third-stage engine ignition. The spacecraft broke up over the Pacific without reaching orbit.

Spacecraft

Launch Vehicle: 8K78 (no. R103-26)

Spacecraft Mass: About 1,470 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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