Mission Details

Mission Name: Luna 8
Mission Type: Lunar Impact
Operator: Soviet Union (Roscosmos)
Launching State: Soviet Union/Russia
Location: Oceanus Procellarum
Latitude: 9.6
Longitude: -62
Launch Date: 3 December 1965, 10:46:14 UT
Landing Date: 6 December 1965, 21:51:30 UT
Objects on or Related to Site:
Luna 8
Image Source: NASA

Description

Luna 8 was intended to achieve the first soft landing on the Moon.

Read more:
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1965-099A

Heritage Consideration

Intended to be the first soft landing on the Moon, a puncture to a cushioning airbag caused the spacecraft to spin, losing attitude control and preventing the full firing of the retrorockets.

Object on or Related to Site

Object Name: Luna 8
Cospar: 1965-099A
Norad: N/A
Location: Precise location unknown or undisclosed.
Launch Date: 3 December 1965, 10:46:14 UT
Landing Date: 6 December 1965, 21:51:30 UT
Deployment: N/A
End Date: 6 December 1965
Function: Continue investigations of a lunar soft landing.
Image Source: NASA

Description

This, the tenth Soviet attempt to achieve a lunar soft-landing, nearly succeeded.

The Blok L upper stage successfully dispatched the probe towards the Moon. After a successful mid-course correction at 19:00 UT on Dec. 4, 1965, the spacecraft headed towards its targeted landing site on the Moon without any apparent problems. Just prior to the planned retro-fire burn, a command was sent to inflate cushioning airbags around the ALS lander probe. Unfortunately, a plastic mounting bracket appears to have pierced one of the two bags. The resulting expulsion of air put the spacecraft into a spin of 12 degrees per second. The vehicle momentarily regained attitude, long enough for a 9-second retro-engine firing, but then lost it again. Without a full retro burn to reduce approach velocity sufficient for a survivable landing, Luna 8 plummeted to the lunar surface and crashed at 21:51:30 UT on Dec. 6, 1965 just west of the Kepler crater. Impact coordinates were 9 degrees 8 minutes north latitude and 63 degrees 18 minutes west longitude.

The Soviet news agency TASS merely reported that “the station’s systems functioned normally at all stages of the landing except the final one.”

Read more:
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/luna-08/in-depth/

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Luna 9: Lunar Landing
Luna 9 was intended to, and did, achieve the first soft landing on the Moon. The lander proved spacecraft would not simply sink into lunar dust, a finding that paved the way for future Moon landings, including the Apollo missions.
Luna 7: Lunar Impact
Luna 7 was intended to achieve the first soft landing on the Moon. Intended to be the first soft landing on the Moon, the spacecraft's retrorockets were unable to fire due to a loss of attitude control and the spacecraft made a hard impact on the lunar surface.
Luna 5: Lunar Impact
Luna 5 was an unmanned Soviet spacecraft intended to land on the Moon as part of the Luna programme. It was intended to become the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, however its retrorockets failed, and the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface.
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