Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Luna 11, Soviet spacecraft, launched 1966

Luna 11, a Soviet spacecraft, was launched August 24, 1966 from an earth-orbiting platform to the moon.  It arrived and entered orbit around the moon 3 days later.  It was designed to take the first photographs of the lunar surface from orbit.  The onboard television camera did not return any useful images since a foreign object got logged in the nozzle of one of the attitude-control thrusters.  Therefore, Luna 11 could not maintain proper orientation to face the lunar surface.

The other instruments continued functioning as planned until the power supply was exhausted on October 1, 1966.

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