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Luna 14

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Luna 14
Mission typeLunar orbiter
Technology demonstration
OperatorSoviet space program
COSPAR ID1968-027A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.03178Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration75 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeE-6LS
ManufacturerGSMZ Lavochkin
Launch mass1,640 kilograms (3,620 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date7 April 1968, 10:09:32 (1968-04-07UTC10:09:32Z) UTC[1]
RocketMolniya-M 8K78M
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5
End of mission
Last contact24 June 1968 (1968-06-25) [2]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemSelenocentric
Periselene altitude1,894 kilometres (1,177 mi)
Aposelene altitude2,607 kilometres (1,620 mi)
Inclination42 degrees
Period160 minutes
Epoch9 April 1968, 19:00:00 UTC[3]
Lunar orbiter
Orbital insertion10 April 1968, 19:25 UTC

Luna 14 (E-6LS series) was an uncrewed 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. The mission lasted 75 days.[4]


  1. ^ a b Siddiqi, Asif (2018). Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958–2016 (PDF) (second ed.). NASA History Program Office. ISBN 9781626830431.
  2. ^ Wesley t. Huntress, JR; Marov, Mikhail Ya (2011-06-28). Soviet Robots in the Solar System: Mission Technologies and Discoveries. Springer. ISBN 9781441978981.
  3. ^ "NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Trajectory Details". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  4. ^ "In Depth | Luna 14". Archived from the original on 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2019-02-21.

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