Luna 7

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Luna 7
Mission typeLunar lander
OperatorSoviet Union
COSPAR ID1965-077A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.01610Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration3 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeYe-6
Launch mass1,504 kilograms (3,316 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateOctober 4, 1965, 07:55 (1965-10-04UTC07:55Z) UTC[1]
RocketMolniya-M 8K78M[2]
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5[2]
Lunar impact (failed landing)
Impact dateOctober 7, 1965, 22:08 (1965-10-07UTC22:09) UTC
Impact site9°48′N 47°48′W / 9.8°N 47.8°W / 9.8; -47.8

Luna 7 (E-6 or Ye-6 series) was an uncrewed space mission of the Soviet Luna program, also called Lunik 7.[3][4] The Luna 7 spacecraft was intended to achieve a soft landing on the Moon. However, due to premature retrofire and cutoff of the retrorockets, the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface in Oceanus Procellarum.[5]

Lunar map showing the location of Luna 7 in relation to other rovers and landing sites. Lower left, on top of the scale bar.

Unlike its predecessors, Luna 7 successfully carried out its mid-course correction on October 5 on the way to the Moon, in anticipation of a soft-landing two days later. However, immediately prior to planned retro-fire during the approach to the lunar surface, the spacecraft suddenly lost attitude control and failed to regain it. Automatic programmed systems then prevented the main engine from firing. As controllers observed helplessly, Luna 7 plummeted to the lunar surface at a very high speed, crashing at 22:08:24 UT on October 7, 1965, west of the Kepler crater, relatively near the actual intended target. Impact coordinates were 9°48′N 47°48′W / 9.8°N 47.8°W / 9.8; -47.8.[6]

Later investigation indicated that the optical sensor of the astronavigation system had been set at the wrong angle and had lost sight of Earth during the critical attitude-control maneuver.[7] It was the tenth consecutive failure in the Ye-6 program.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Details".
  2. ^ a b "NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Telemetry Details".
  3. ^ "Lodi News-Sentinel". Lodi News-Sentinel – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "The Day". The Day – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "L'Artisan". L'Artisan – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Table of Anthropogenic Impacts and Spacecraft on the Moon".
  7. ^ Harvey, Brian (August 17, 2007). Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9780387739762 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Luna 6
Luna programme Succeeded by
Luna 8