Luna 8

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Luna 8
Missing image
USSR_Luna_lander_bus.jpg
Luna 8

Organization:Soviet Union
Major Contractors: OKB-1
Mission Type: Planetary Science Lunar landing
Satellite of: Moon
Launch: December 3, 1965 at 10:48:00 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78 (4-Stage R-7 / SS-6)
Mission Highlight: Lunar impact on
December 6, 1965, 21:51:30 UTC
9.6 N - 62 W.
Mission Duration: 3-days
Mass: 1,550 kg
NSSDC ID: 1965-099A
Webpage: NASA NSSDC Master Catalog (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1965-099A)
Orbital elements
Semimajor Axis: n/a
Eccentricity: n/a
Inclination: n/a
Orbital Period: n/a
Apogee: n/a
Perigee: n/a
Orbits: Lunar impact
Instruments
Close-Up Lunar Surface Photography : Lunar photography


Luna 8 was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 8. Luna 8 was launched with the probable mission of achieving a soft landing on the Moon. However, the retrofire was late, and the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface in the Sea of Storms. The mission did complete the experimental development of the star-orientation system and ground control of radio equipment, flight trajectory, and other instrumentation.

This, the tenth Soviet attempt to achieve a lunar soft-landing, nearly succeeded. After a successful midcourse correction on 4 December, the spacecraft headed toward the Moon without any apparent problems. Just prior to the planned retro-fire burn, a command was sent to inflate cushioning airbags around the ALS lander probe. Unfortunately, a plastic mounting bracket apparently pierced one of the two bags. The resulting expulsion of air put the spacecraft into a spin of 12 degrees per second. The vehicle momentarily regained attitude, long enough for a 9-second retro-engine firing, but then lost it again. Without a full retro-fire burn to reduce approach velocity sufficient for a survivable landing, Luna 8 plummeted to the lunar surface and crashed at 21:51:30 UT on 6 December just west of the Kepler crater. Impact coordinates were 98' north latitude and 6318' west longitude.

  • Launch Date/Time: 1965-12-03 at 10:48:00 UTC
  • On-orbit dry mass: 1550 kg


Preceded by :
Luna 7
Luna program Followed by :
Luna 9
  1. REDIRECT Template:PD-USGov-NASA
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