Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Luna (Lunik) 20, second Soviet lunar sample return mission, launched 1972

Luna 20 (Soviet name: Lunik 20) launched February 14, 1972 and was the second successful Soviet mission to send a probe to the moon and have it return with lunar samples.  It touched down on the Moon's surface February 21 in Terra Apollonius.  After collecting about 55g of lunar material, the ascent stage blasted off February 22, and returned to Earth landing in Kazakhstan.

In 2010, the U.S.' Lunar Reconnassaince Orbiter spotted Luna 20's landing stage.

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