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Luna 20
Luna 20 (click to enlarge)
 
 

Luna 20
Date: 25 Feb 1972

Luna 20 was to conduct the mission that Luna 18 was unable to complete: obtain a soil sample from the lunar highlands and bring it to Earth for comparison with Luna 16's sample from a mare site.

Accomplishments: The spacecraft succeeded in making a soft landing (less than 2 km from where Luna 18 crashed), drilling a soil sample and bringing it to Earth. Analysis determined that most of the rock particles in the sample were ancient anorthosite rather than the basalt that predominated in Luna 16's sample. Soviet investigators were particularly excited by the discovery of very pure iron.

Credit: NSSDC Photo Gallery



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