Mission Details

Mission Name: Luna 21
Mission Type: Lunar Lander
Operator: Soviet Union (Roscosmos)
Launching State: Soviet Union/Russia
Location: Le Monnier Crater
Latitude: 25.998
Longitude: 30.41
Launch Date: 8 January 1973, 06:55:38 UT
Landing Date: 16 January 1973, 01:14 UT
Objects on or Related to Site:
Luna 21
Lunokhod 2
Image Source: NASA

Description

Luna 21’s mission was to deliver the rover Lunokhod 2 to the Moon.

Read more:
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/luna-21/in-depth/

Heritage Consideration

The lander carried a bas relief of Lenin and the Soviet coat-of-arms. Richard Garriott purchased both the Luna 21 lander and the Lunakhod 2 rover from the Soviet Union.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Luna 21
Cospar: 1973-001A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 8 January 1973, 06:55:38 UT
Landing Date: 16 January 1973, 01:14 UT
Deployment: N/A
End Date: N/A
Function: Robotic vehicle exploration.
Image Source: NASA

Description

Luna 21 carried the second successful Soviet “8YeL” lunar rover, Lunokhod 2, and was launched less than a month after the last Apollo lunar landing.

After a midcourse correction the day after launch, Luna 21 entered orbit around the Moon on Jan. 12, 1973. Orbital parameters were 62 x 56 miles (100 x 90 kilometers) at 60 degrees inclination.

On Jan. 15, the spacecraft deorbited and, after multiple engine firings, landed on the Moon at 22:35 UT the same day, inside the LeMonnier crater at 25 degrees 51 minutes north latitude and 30 degrees 27 minutes east longitude, between Mare Serenitatis and the Taurus Mountains. Less than 3 hours later, at 01:14 UT on Jan. 16, the rover disembarked from Luna 21 onto the lunar surface.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Lunokhod 2
Cospar: 1973-001A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 8 January 1973, 06:55:38 UT
Landing Date: 16 January 1973, 01:14 UT
Deployment: N/A
End Date: June 1973
Function: Robotic rover exploration
Image Source: NASA

Description

The rover stood 135 cm high and had a mass of 840 kg. It was about 170 cm long and 160 cm wide and had 8 wheels, each with an independent suspension, motor and brake. The rover had two speeds, ~1 km/hr and ~2 km/hr. Lunokhod 2 was equipped with three TV cameras, one mounted high on the rover for navigation, which could return high resolution images at different rates (3.2, 5.7, 10.9 or 21.1 seconds per frame).

These images were used by a five-man team of controllers on Earth who sent driving commands to the rover in real time. Power was supplied by a solar panel on the inside of a round hinged lid which covered the instrument bay, which would charge the batteries when opened. A polonium-210 isotopic heat source was used to keep the rover warm during the lunar nights. There were 4 panoramic cameras mounted on the rover. Scientific instruments included a soil mechanics tester, solar X-ray experiment, an astrophotometer to measure visible and UV light levels, a magnetometer deployed in front of the rover on the end of a 2.5 m boom, a radiometer, a photodetector (Rubin-1) for laser detection experiments, and a French-supplied laser corner-reflector. The lander and rover together weighed 1814 kg.

Read more:
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1973-001A

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Luna 24: Lunar Landing
Luna 24 was the third Soviet attempt to land at the site of a large mass concentration on the Moon, obtain a soil sample down to about 6.6 feet (2 meters) beneath the lunar surface, and return it to Earth.
Luna 23: Lunar Landing
Luna 23 was to drill 2.5 meters below the lunar surface (compared to the 0.3-m depth of the cores sampled by Luna 16 and 20) and return a sample of the soil to Earth.
Luna 22: Lunar Orbit
In addition to its primary mission of surface photography, Luna 22 also performed investigations to determine the chemical composition of the lunar surface, recorded meteoroid activity, searched for a lunar magnetic field, measured solar and cosmic radiation flux, and continued studies of the irregular magnetic field.
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