Luna 13

From Academic Kids

Luna 13
Missing image
USSR_Luna_lander_bus.jpg
Luna 13

Organization:Soviet Union
Major Contractors: GSMZ Lavochkin
Mission Type: Planetary Science Lunar landing
Satellite of: Moon
Launch: December 21, 1966. 10:17:00 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M (4-Stage R-7 / SS-6)
Mission Highlight: Lunar soft landing on
December 24, 1966, 18:04 UTC
1852' N, 623' W.
Mission Duration: 6-days. Last transmission
December 28, 1966, 06:13 UTC.
Mass: 1,620 kg
NSSDC ID: 1966-116A
Webpage: NASA NSSDC Master Catalog (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1966-116A)
Orbital elements
Semimajor Axis: n/a
Eccentricity: n/a
Inclination: n/a
Orbital Period: n/a
Apogee: n/a
Perigee: n/a
Orbits: Lunar soft landing
Instruments
TV cameras : Lunar photography
Infrared radiometer :
Penetrometer : Lunar surface strength
Radiation densitometer :
Radiation detector :

Luna 13 was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 13. The Luna 13 spacecraft was launched toward the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and accomplished a soft landing on December 24, 1966, in the region of Oceanus Procellarum.

The petal encasement of the spacecraft was opened, antennas were erected, and radio transmissions to Earth began four minutes after the landing. On December 25 and December 26, 1966, the spacecraft television system transmitted panoramas of the nearby lunar landscape at different Sun angles. Each panorama required approximately 100 minutes to transmit. The spacecraft was equipped with a mechanical soil-measuring penetrometer, a dynamograph, and a radiation densitometer for obtaining data on the mechanical and physical properties and the cosmic ray reflectivity of the lunar surface. Transmissions from the spacecraft ceased on December 28, 1966.

Luna 13 became the second Soviet spacecraft to successfully soft-land on the surface of the Moon. The probe landed in the Ocean of Storms at 18:01 UT on 24 December 1966, between the Krafft and Seleucus craters at 1852' north latitude and 623' west longitude. Unlike its predecessor, the heavier Luna 13 lander (113 kilograms) carried a suite of scientific instruments in addition to the usual imaging system.

Missing image
Luna_9_landing_capsule.jpg
Luna 13 soft landing capsule (NASA)

A three-axis accelerometer within the pressurized frame of the lander recorded the landing forces during impact to determine the soil structure down to a depth of 20 to 30 centimeters. A pair of spring-loaded booms was also deployed. Both were equipped with titanium-tipped rods that were driven into the ground with a powerful force by small explosive charges to measure soil density (found at roughly 0.8 grams per cubic centimeter). Four radiometers recorded infrared radiation from the surface indicating a noon temperature of 117 3 C while a radiation detector indicated that radiation levels would be less than hazardous for humans.

The lander returned a total of five panoramas of the lunar surface, showing a more smooth terrain than seen by Luna 9. One of the two cameras (intended to return stereo images) failed, but this did not diminish the quality of the photographs. After a fully successful mission, contact was lost at 06:13 UT on 28 December when the onboard batteries were exhausted.

  • Launch Date/Time: 1966-12-21 at 10:19:00 UTC
  • On-orbit dry mass: 1700 kg
Missing image
Luna13a.jpg
A photo shot from Luna 13 on the surface.
Missing image
Luna13panb.jpg
A panorama shot from Luna 13 on the moon


Preceded by :
Luna 12
Luna program Followed by :
Luna 14
  1. REDIRECT Template:PD-USGov-NASA
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