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Luna 1960B

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Luna 1960B

Luna E-3 No.2,[1] sometimes identified by NASA as Luna 1960B,[2] was a Soviet spacecraft which was lost in a launch failure in 1960. It was a 279-kilogram (615 lb) Luna E-3 spacecraft,[3] the second of two to be launched,[4] both of which were lost in launch failures.[4] It was intended to fly around the moon on a circumlunar trajectory in order to image the surface of the Moon, including the far side. The E-3 spacecraft were similar in design to the E-2A which had been used for the earlier Luna 3 mission, however they carried higher resolution cameras, and were intended to make closer flybys.

Luna E-3 No.2 was launched at 16:07:41 UTC on 16 April 1960, atop a Luna 8K72 carrier rocket,[5] flying from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.[1] The Blok-B strap-on booster failed to generate sufficient thrust, and sheered away from the core stage around 0.4 seconds into the flight.[5] This caused the other strap-ons to separate prematurely as well, leaving the rocket with insufficient thrust to achieve orbit.[5] Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA correctly identified that it had been an attempted circumlunar imagery mission.[2]

External links

  • Zarya - Luna programme chronology

References

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