Launch Date Oct 16, 1975: Launch
Launch Site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia |
Launch Site 81L
Destination Earth’s Moon
Type Lander | Sample Return
Status Unsuccessful
Nation Soviet Union
Alternate Names


Land on the Moon, collect and return samples to Earth.


None. The spacecraft did not reach Earth orbit.

Key Dates

Oct 16, 1975: Launch

In Depth

This was the second attempt by the Soviet Union to send an "advanced" lunar sample return craft to the Moon, equipped with the capability to dig for a deeper core. The first spacecraft (Luna 23) was damaged during landing on the Moon in October 1974.

On this mission, the first three stages of the Proton-K launch vehicle worked without fault, but the Blok D stage, during its first burn for insertion into Earth orbit, failed. The expensive payload burned up in Earth's atmosphere without ever reaching Earth orbit.


Launch Vehicle: 8K82K + Blok D (Proton-K no. 287-02)

Spacecraft Mass: About 5,800 kg

Spacecraft Instruments:

  1. stereo imaging system
  2. improved drill for sample collection
  3. radiation detector
  4. radio-altimeter

Selected References

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

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