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Luna 8
Luna 8 and 9 locations Planitia Descensus 3214 med.jpg
Oblique view of Planitia Descensus showing crash site of Luna 8 and the landing point of Luna 9 (Lunar Orbiter 3 image)
Mission typeLunar lander
COSPAR ID1965-099A
SATCAT no.1810
Mission duration3 days
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass1,550 kilograms (3,420 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date3 December 1965, 10:46:14 (1965-12-03UTC10:46:14Z) UTC
RocketMolniya 8K78
Launch siteBaikonur 31/6
Lunar impact (failed landing)
Impact date6 December 1965, 21:51:30 (1965-12-06UTC21:51:31Z) UTC[1]
Impact site9°06′N 63°18′W / 9.1°N 63.3°W / 9.1; -63.3[1]
Map showing the location of Luna 8 near the lower left, in relation to other moon missions.
Map showing the location of Luna 8 near the lower left, in relation to other moon missions.

Luna 8 (E-6 series), also known as Lunik 8, was a lunar space probe of the Luna program. It was launched in on 3 December 1965 with the objective of achieving a soft landing on the Moon; however, its retrorocket firing occurred too late, and suffered a hard impact on the lunar surface on the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms). The mission did complete the experimental testing of its stellar-guidance system and the ground-control of its radio telemetry equipment, its flight trajectory, and its other instrumentation.

This, the eleventh Soviet attempt to achieve a lunar soft landing, nearly succeeded. After a successful midcourse correction on 4 December, this spacecraft headed toward the Moon without any apparent problems. Just before the scheduled firing of its retrorocket, a command was sent to inflate cushioning air bags around the landing probe. However, a plastic mounting bracket apparently pierced one of the two air bags. The resulting ejection of the air put the spacecraft into a spin of about 12 degrees per second. The spacecraft momentarily regained its proper attitude, long enough for a nine-second-long retrorocket firing, but Luna 8 became unstable again. Without a retrorocket burn long enough to reduce its velocity sufficiently for a survivable landing, Luna 8 plummeted to the lunar surface and crashed at 21:51:30 UT on 6 December in the west of Oceanus Procellarum. The coordinates of the crash site are 9°06′N 63°18′W / 9.1°N 63.3°W / 9.1; -63.3.[1]

  • Launch date/time: 3 December 1965 at 10:46:14 UTC[1]
  • On-orbit dry mass: 1,550 kg (3,420 lb)[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Luna 8". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2015-06-05.

External links

Preceded by
Luna 7
Luna programme Succeeded by
Luna 9
This page was last edited on 13 May 2021, at 04:38
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