The First Ten Unmanned Moon Landings to Have Taken Place

The First Ten Unmanned Moon Landings to Have Taken Place

While most people can name at least one moon landing with humans involved before man ever set foot on the surface of the moon there were several unmanned missions and here are the ten first every moon landings that were done by machine alone…

 


The First Ten Unmanned Moon Landings to Have Taken Place


 

Luna 9, USSR

Luna 9, USSR

10 – Luna 9, USSR – Moon Impact Date: 31st January 1966

Info: Luna 9 internal designation Ye-6 No.13, was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union’s Luna programme. On 3 February 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, or any planetary body other than Earth and to transmit photographic data to Earth from the surface of another planetary body.

Luna 8, USSR

Luna 8, USSR

9 – Luna 8, USSR – Moon Impact Date: 3rd October 1965

Info: Luna 8  also known as Lunik 8, was a lunar space probe of the Luna program. It was launched in on December 3, 1965 with the objective of achieving a soft landing on the Moon. However, its retrorocket firing occurred too late, and suffered a hard impact on the lunar surface on the Oceanus Procellarum. The mission did complete the experimental testing of its stellar-guidance system and the ground-control of its radio telemetry equipment, its flight trajectory, and its other instrumentation.

Luna 7, USSR

Luna 7, USSR

8 – Luna 7, USSR – Moon Impact Date: 4th October 1965

Info: Unlike its predecessors, Luna 7 successfully carried out its mid-course correction on October 5 on the way to the Moon. However, immediately prior to planned retro-fire during the approach to the lunar surface, the spacecraft suddenly lost attitude control and failed to regain it. Automatic programmed systems then prevented the main engine from firing. As controllers observed helplessly, Luna 7 plummeted to the lunar surface at a very high speed, crashing

Luna 5, USSR

Luna 5, USSR

7 – Luna 5, USSR – Moon Impact Date: 9th May 1965

Info: Luna 5 was launched by a Molniya-M carrier rocket, flying from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Liftoff occurred at 07:49:37 UTC on 9 May 1965. The spacecraft and Blok L upper stage entered a low Earth parking orbit, before the Blok L fired to propel Luna 5 towards the Moon.

Ranger 9, USA

Ranger 9, USA

6 – Ranger 9, USA – Moon Impact Date: 21st March 1965

Info: Ranger 9 was a Lunar probe, launched in 1965 by NASA. It was designed to achieve a lunar impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. The spacecraft carried six television vidicon cameras – two wide-angle and four narrow-angle to accomplish these objectives.

5 – Ranger 8, USA – Moon Impact Date: 17th February 1965

Info: Ranger 8 was a lunar probe in the Ranger program, a robotic spacecraft series launched by NASA in the early-to-mid-1960s to obtain the first close-up images of the Moon’s surface. These pictures helped select landing sites for Apollo missions and were used for scientific study. During its 1965 mission, Ranger 8 transmitted 7,137 lunar surface photographs before it crashed into the Moon as planned.

Ranger 7, USA

Ranger 7, USA

4 – Ranger 7, USA – Moon Impact Date: 28th July 1964

Info: Ranger 7 was the first American space probe to successfully transmit close images of the lunar surface back to Earth. It was also the first completely successful flight of the Ranger program. Launched on July 28, 1964, Ranger 7 was designed to achieve a lunar-impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. The spacecraft carried six television vidicon cameras – two wide-angle and four narrow-angle to accomplish these objectives.

Ranger 6, USA

Ranger 6, USA

3 – Ranger 6, USA – Moon Impact Date: 30th January 1964

Info: Ranger 6 was a lunar probe in the Ranger program, a robotic spacecraft series launched by NASA in the early and mid-1960s to obtain the first close-up images of the Moon’s surface. It was designed to achieve a lunar-impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact.

Ranger 4, USA

Ranger 4, USA

2 – Ranger 4, USA – Moon Impact Date: 23rd of April 1962

Info: Ranger 4 was a spacecraft of the Ranger program designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface to Earth stations during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to crashing upon the Moon, to rough-land a seismometer capsule on the Moon, to collect gamma-ray data in flight, to study radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, and to continue testing of the Ranger program for development of lunar and interplanetary spacecraft.

Lunik 2, USSR

Lunik 2, USSR

1 – Lunik 2, USSR – Moon Impact Date: 12th September 1959

Info: Luna 2 or Lunik 2 was the second of the Soviet Union’s Luna programme spacecraft launched to the Moon. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon, and the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 13, 1959, it hit the Moon’s surface east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus.

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