Luna 18

related topics
{ship, engine, design}
{math, energy, light}
{island, water, area}
{system, computer, user}
{work, book, publish}
{line, north, south}

Luna 18 (Ye-8-5 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 18. Luna 18 was placed in an earth parking orbit after it was launched and was then sent towards the Moon. On September 7, 1971, it entered lunar orbit. The spacecraft completed 85 communications sessions and 54 lunar orbits before it was sent towards the lunar surface by use of braking rockets. It impacted the Moon on September 11, 1971, at 3 degrees 34 minutes N, 56 degrees 30 minutes E (selenographic coordinates) in a rugged mountainous terrain. Signals ceased at the moment of impact.

This mission was the seventh Soviet attempt to recover soil samples from the surface of the Moon and the first after the success of Luna 16. After two midcourse corrections on 4 September and 6 September 1971, Luna 18 entered a circular orbit around the Moon on 7 September at 100 kilometers altitude with an inclination of 35°. After several more orbital corrections, on 11 September, the vehicle began its descent to the lunar surface. Unfortunately, contact with the spacecraft was abruptly lost at 07:48 UT at the previously determined point of lunar landing. Impact coordinates were 3°34' north latitude and 56°30' east longitude, near the edge of the Sea of Fertility. Officially, the Soviets announced that "the lunar landing in the complex mountainous conditions proved to be unfavorable." Later, in 1975, the Soviets published data from Luna 18’s continuous-wave radio altimeter that determined the mean density of the lunar topsoil.

  • Launch Date/Time: 1971-09-02 at 13:40:40 UTC
  • On-orbit dry mass: 5600 kg

External links

Full article ▸

related documents
Luna 11
Surveyor 2
Mariner program
Cosmos 21
Luna 12
Ranger program
Luna 15
Working mass
Luna 5
Surveyor Program
Luna 23
Bristol Pegasus
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
Aviation Traders
Rapier missile
CSS Scorpion
Soviet submarine K-219
Blue Steel missile
SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse
Denis Papin
MV Virginian (T-AK 9205)
RQ-3 DarkStar
Splash damage
E-3 Sentry
Surveyor 4