Luna E-3 No.1
|Mission type||Lunar flyby|
|Mission duration||Failed to orbit|
|Launch mass||279 kilograms (615 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||15 April 1960, 15:06:45UTC|
|Rocket||Luna 8K72 s/n L1-9|
|Launch site||Baikonur 1/5|
Luna E-3 No.1, sometimes identified by NASA as Luna 1960A, was a Soviet spacecraft which was lost in a launch failure in 1960. It was a 279-kilogram (615 lb) Luna E-3 spacecraft, the first of two to be launched, both of which were lost in launch failures. It was intended to fly around the Moon on a circumlunar trajectory in order to image the surface of the Moon, including the far side. The E-3 spacecraft were similar in design to the E-2A which had been used for the earlier Luna 3 mission. However, they carried higher resolution cameras, and were intended to make closer flybys.
Luna E-3 No.1 was launched at 15:06:45 UTC on 15 April 1960, atop a Luna 8K72 carrier rocket, flying from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Blok E upper stage cut off prematurely because pad crews had accidentally filled the RP-1 tank only halfway. As a result, the spacecraft failed to achieve orbit. Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA correctly identified that it had been an attempted circumlunar imagery mission.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Williams, David R. (6 January 2005). "Tentatively Identified Missions and Launch Failures". NASA NSSDC. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Wade, Mark. "Luna E-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Krebs, Gunter. "Luna E-3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Wade, Mark. "Soyuz". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Soviet Robots In The Solar System, Wesley T. Huntress, pp 84
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