Soviet Union — Roscosmos
Luna 13: Lunar Landing

Mission Details

Mission Name: Luna 13
Mission Type: Lunar Lander
Operator: Soviet Union (Roscosmos)
Launching State: Soviet Union/Russia
Location: Between Krafft and Seleucus Craters
Latitude: 18.9
Longitude: -62.1
Launch Date: 21 December 1966, 10:17:00 UT
Landing Date: 24 December 1966, 18:04 UT
Objects on or Related to Site:
Luna 13
Image Source: NASA


The mission of Luna 13 was to land on the Moon and characterize the lunar surface.

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Heritage Consideration

Luna 13 was the third spacecraft to land successfully on the Moon. Luna 13 not only returned 5 panoramic photos of the landscape at different sun angles, but also measured the soil’s physical and mechanical properties and its radiation characteristics.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Luna 13
Cospar: 1969-058A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 21 December 1966, 10:17:00 UT
Landing Date: 24 December 1966, 18:04 UT
Deployment: N/A
End Date: December 1966
Function: Characterize lunar surface.
Image Source: NASA


Per NASA: The Luna 13 spacecraft was launched toward the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and accomplished a soft landing on December 24, 1966, in the region of Oceanus Procellarum.

The petal encasement of the spacecraft was opened, antennas were erected, and radio transmissions to Earth began four minutes after the landing. On December 25 and 26, 1966, the spacecraft television system transmitted panoramas of the nearby lunar landscape at different sun angles. Each panorama required approximately 100 minutes to transmit. The spacecraft was equipped with a mechanical soil-measuring penetrometer, a dynamograph, and a radiation densitometer for obtaining data on the mechanical and physical properties and the cosmic-ray reflectivity of the lunar surface. It is believed that transmissions from the spacecraft ceased before the end of December 1966.

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