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Luna 9

Luna 9 was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna program, also known as Lunik 9.

On February 3, 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth. The automatic lunar station that achieved the soft landing weighed 99 Kg. It was a hermetically sealed container with radio equipment, a program timing device, heat control systems, scientific apparatus, power sources, and a television system. The Luna 9 payload was carried to Earth orbit by an A-2-E vehicle and then conveyed toward the Moon by a fourth stage rocket that separated itself from the payload. Flight apparatus separated from the payload shortly before Luna 9 landed. After landing in the Ocean of Storms on February 3, 1966, the four petals, which formed the spacecraft, opened outward and stabilized the spacecraft on the lunar surface. Spring-controlled antennas assumed operating positions, and the television camera rotatable mirror system, which operated by revolving and tilting, began a photographic survey of the lunar environment. Seven radio sessions, totaling 8 hours and 5 minutes, were transmitted as were three series of TV pictures. When assembled, the photographs provided a panoramic view of the nearby lunar surface. The pictures included views of nearby rocks and of the horizon 1.4 Km away from the spacecraft.

  • Launch Date/Time: 1966-01-31 at 11:45:00 UTC
  • On-orbit dry mass: 1580 kg

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