Soviet Union — Roscosmos
Luna 19: Lunar Orbit

Mission Details

Mission Name: Luna 19
Mission Type: Lunar Orbiter
Operator: Soviet Union (Roscosmos)
Launching State: Soviet Union/Russia
Location: Unknown
Latitude: N/A
Longitude: N/A
Launch Date: 28 September 1971, 10:00:22 UT
Landing Date: N/A
Objects on or Related to Site:
Luna 19
Image Source: NASA


Luna 19 was to orbit the Moon, collecting data about the Moon and its environment.

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Heritage Consideration

The spacecraft orbited the Moon for one year.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Luna 19
Cospar: 1971-082A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 28 September 1971, 10:00:22 UT
Landing Date: N/A
Deployment: N/A
End Date: N/A
Function: Orbiter to gather information and data on lunar gravitational field, the locations of mass concentrations (mascons), the solar wind, the lunar radiation environments and the composition of the lunar surface.
Image Source: NASA


Luna 19 was the first of the “advanced” lunar orbiters whose design was based upon the same Ye-8-class bus used for the lunar rovers and the sample collectors. For these orbiters, designated Ye-8LS, the basic “lander stage” was topped off by a wheel-less Lunokhod-like frame that housed all scientific instrumentation in a pressurized container.

Luna 19 entered orbit around the Moon on 2 October 1971 after two midcourse corrections on 29 September and 1 October. Initial orbital parameters were 140 x 140 kilometers at 40.58° inclination. Soon after, the spacecraft began its main imaging mission-to provide panoramic images of the mountainous region of the Moon between 30? and 60? south latitude and between 20° and 80° east longitude.

Other scientific experiments included extensive studies on the shape and strength of the lunar gravitation field and the locations of mascons. Occultation experiments in May and June 1972 allowed scientists to determine the concentration of charged particles at an altitude of 10 kilometers. Additional studies of the solar wind were evidently coordinated with those performed by the Mars 2 and 3 orbiters and Veneras 7 and 8. Communications with Luna 19 were terminated sometime between 3 and 20 October 1972 after a year of operations, during more than 4,000 revolutions of the Moon.

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Suggested contents and articles.
Suggested Contents
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.
Luna 21: Lunar Landing
Luna 21's mission was to deliver the rover Lunokhod 2 to the Moon. 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.
Luna 20: Lunar Landing
Luna 20 was to conduct the mission that Luna 18 was unable to complete: obtain a soil sample from the lunar highlands and bring it to Earth for comparison with Luna 16's sample from a site that was thought to be geologically different.
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