Luna E-8-5 No.402

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E-8-5 No.402
Luna-16.jpg
A Luna E-8-5 spacecraft
Mission type Lunar lander
Sample return
Mission duration Failed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type E-8-5
Manufacturer NPO Lavochkin
Launch mass 5,600 kilograms (12,300 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 14 June 1969, 04:00:47 (1969-06-14UTC04:00:47Z) UTC
Rocket Proton-K/D s/n 238-01
Launch site Baikonur 81/24

Luna E-8-5 No.402, also known as Luna Ye-8-5 No.402, and sometimes identified by NASA as Luna 1969C,[1] was a Soviet spacecraft which was lost in a launch failure in 1969. It was a 5,600-kilogram (12,300 lb) Luna E-8-5 spacecraft, the first of eight to be launched.[2][3] It was intended to perform a soft landing on the Moon, collect a sample of lunar soil, and return it to the Earth. It was, along with Luna 15, one of two unsuccessful missions which had been launched by the Soviet Union in a last-ditch attempt to upstage the Apollo 11 landing.[2]

Luna E-8-5 No.402 was launched at 04:00:07 UTC on 14 June 1969 atop a Proton-K 8K78K carrier rocket with a Blok-D upper stage, flying from Site 81/24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.[4] The upper stage failed to ignite, and consequently the spacecraft failed to achieve orbit.[5] Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA correctly identified that it had been an attempted sample return mission, however they believed that a previous attempt had been made, using a spacecraft launched on 30 April, which had also been lost in a launch failure. They designated that attempt Luna 1969B.[1] No Luna spacecraft or Proton rocket was launched on that date.[4]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Williams, David R. (6 January 2005). "Tentatively Identified Missions and Launch Failures". NASA NSSDC. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Luna Ye-8-5". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Luna E-8-5". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Wade, Mark. "Proton". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 27 July 2010.