International Sat. n°:
USSR satellite n°:
||02626 / 66116A|
||21 Dec 1966 - 10:17 UT|
||Molniya 8K78M (N103-45)|
|Satellite type|| E-6M n°205 (#)|
||Lunar soft landing on|
December 24, 1966
Soft Lunar landing at 18°52' N, 62°3' W on 24 Dec 1966 - 18:04 UT
|| GSMZ Lavochkin|
|Mass at launch
||1590 (1620?) kg|
||24 Dec 1966 - 18:04 UT|
||6 days. Last transmission|
December 28, 1966 at 06:13 UT
Luna 13 soft landing capsule.
- Luna 13 (E-6M series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program,
also called Lunik 13. 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 December 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. Transmissions from the spacecraft ceased on December 28, 1966.
- Luna 13 became the second Soviet spacecraft to successfully
soft-land on the surface of the Moon. The probe landed in the Ocean of
Storms at 18:01 UT on 24 December 1966,
between the Krafft and Seleucus craters at 18°52' north latitude and
62°3' west longitude. Unlike its predecessor, the heavier Luna 13
lander (113 kilograms) carried a suite of scientific instruments in
addition to the usual imaging system.
- A three-axis accelerometer within the pressurized frame of the
lander recorded the landing forces during impact to determine the soil
structure down to a depth of 20 to 30 centimeters. A pair of
spring-loaded booms was also deployed. One of these booms carried a
penetrometer, designed to measure the forces required to penetrate the
lunar regolith - the penetrating force being supplied by a minute
explosive charge. The other boom carried a backscatter densitometer
that was used to infer the density of the lunar near-surface regolith.
Four radiometers recorded infrared radiation from the surface
indicating a noon temperature of 117 ±3°C while a radiation
detector indicated that radiation levels would be less than hazardous
Photo shot from Luna 13 on the surface.
- The lander returned a total of five panoramas of the lunar surface,
showing a more smooth terrain than seen by Luna 9. One of the two
cameras (intended to return stereo images) failed, but this did not
diminish the quality of the photographs. After a fully successful
mission, contact was lost at 06:13 UT on 28 December when the onboard batteries were exhausted.
Ref.: #1, #7, #8, #81, #98 - update: 20.07.08