Luna 14

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Luna 14
Luna-11 12.jpg
Mission type Lunar orbiter
Technology demonstration
COSPAR ID 1968-027A
Mission duration 8 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type E-6LS
Manufacturer GSMZ Lavochkin
Launch mass 1,700 kilograms (3,700 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 7 April 1968, 10:09:32 (1968-04-07UTC10:09:32Z) UTC
Rocket Molniya-M 8K78M
Launch site Baikonur 1/5
Orbital parameters
Reference system Selenocentric
Semi-major axis 6,892.8 kilometres (4,283.0 mi)
Eccentricity 0.16
Periselene 160 kilometres (99 mi)
Aposelene 870 kilometres (540 mi)
Inclination 42 degrees
Period 160 minutes
Lunar orbiter
Orbital insertion 10 April 1968, 19:25 UTC

Luna 14 (E-6LS series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program run by the Soviet Union. It was also called Lunik 14.

The spacecraft is believed to have been similar to Luna 12 and the instrumentation was similar to that carried by Luna 10. It provided data for studies of the interaction of the earth and lunar masses, the lunar gravitational field, the propagation and stability of radio communications to the spacecraft at different orbital positions, solar charged particles and cosmic rays, and the motion of the Moon. This flight was the final flight of the second generation of the Luna series.

Luna 14 successfully entered lunar orbit at 19:25 UT on 10 April 1968. Initial orbital parameters were 160 × 870 kilometers at 42° inclination. The primary goal of the flight was to test communications systems in support of the N1-L3 piloted lunar landing project. Ground tracking of the spacecraft's orbit also allowed controllers to accurately map lunar gravitational anomalies in order to predict trajectories of future lunar missions such as those of the LOK and LK lunar landing vehicles. Luna 14 also carried scientific instruments to study cosmic rays and charged particles from the Sun, although few details have been revealed.

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