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Luna 1, also known as Mechta (Russian: Мечта, lit.: Dream),[1] E-1 No.4 and First Lunar Rover ,[2] was the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Earth's Moon, and the first spacecraft to be placed in heliocentric orbit. Intended as an impactor, Luna 1
Luna 1
was launched as part of the Soviet Luna programme
Luna programme
in 1959, however due to an incorrectly timed upper stage burn during its launch, it missed the Moon, in the process becoming the first spacecraft to leave geocentric orbit. While traveling through the outer Van Allen radiation belt, the spacecraft's scintillator made observations indicating that a small number of high energy particles exist in the outer belt. The measurements obtained during this mission provided new data on the Earth's radiation belt and outer space. The Moon
Moon
was found to have no detectable magnetic field. The first ever direct observations and measurements of the solar wind,[2][3][4] a strong flow of ionized plasma emanating from the Sun and streaming through interplanetary space, were performed. That ionized plasma concentration was measured to be some 700 particles per cm3 at altitudes 20–25 thousand km and 300 to 400 particles per cm3 at altitudes 100–150,000 km.[5] The spacecraft also marked the first instance of radio communication at the half-million-kilometer distance. A malfunction in the ground-based control system caused an error in the rocket's burntime, and the spacecraft missed the target and flew by the Moon
Moon
at a distance of 5,900 km at the closest point. Luna 1 then became the first man-made object to reach heliocentric orbit and was then dubbed a "new planet" and renamed Mechta (Dream).[6] Luna 1 was also referred to as the "First Cosmic Rocket", in reference to its achievement of escape velocity.

Contents

1 Spacecraft 2 Launch 3 Sodium
Sodium
release experiment 4 Malfunction 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Spacecraft[edit] Luna 1
Luna 1
contained radio equipment including a tracking transmitter and telemetry system, and five instruments to study the Moon
Moon
and interplanetary space; including a magnetometer, geiger counter, scintillation counter, and micrometeorite detector. Luna 1
Luna 1
was designed to impact the Moon, delivering two metallic pennants with the Soviet coat of arms
Soviet coat of arms
that were included into its package. This mission was eventually accomplished by Luna 2. Launch[edit] Luna 1
Luna 1
was launched at 16:41 GMT (22:41 local time) on 2 January 1959 from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome
by a Luna 8K72
Luna 8K72
rocket. Luna 1 became the first man-made object to reach the escape velocity of the Earth, along with its carrier rocket's 1,472-kilogram (3,245 lb)[citation needed] upper stage, which it separated from after achieving heliocentric orbit. Due to a programming error, the duration of the upper stage's burn was incorrect, and consequently Luna 1
Luna 1
failed to impact the Moon. The spacecraft passed within 5,995 kilometres (3,725 mi) of the Moon's surface on 4 January after 34 hours of flight. It remains in orbit around the Sun, between the orbits of Earth and Mars.[7] Sodium
Sodium
release experiment[edit] At 00:56:20 UTC on 3 January, at a distance of 119,500 kilometres (74,300 mi) from Earth,[5] 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of sodium gas was released by the spacecraft, forming a cloud behind it to serve as an artificial comet. This glowing orange trail of gas, visible over the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
with the brightness of a sixth-magnitude star for a few minutes, was photographed by Mstislav Gnevyshev at the Mountain Station of the Main Astronomical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR near Kislovodsk.[5][dead link] It served as an experiment on the behavior of gas in outer space. A wired press photograph entitled "Rockets / Russian rocket sent into outer space January 1959 (first rocket fired at moon)" Describes how the Sodium
Sodium
gas cloud was photographed by Morris Alan, the following text is taken verbatim from the reverse of a press photograph stamped Kemsley Newspapers 6 Jan 1959. "The Russian rocket on its way to the moon. Mr Morris Alan, 34 year old freelance photographer, who was the first man to photograph the original Russian Sputnik, early this morning took this photograph of the moon rocket. He and his three assistants saw the rocket from Kingscat Hill, near Dunfermline, Firthshire, just after 1 AM and held it in view for almost eight minutes. "It appeared like a cloud on the horizon near the constellation Virgo", he said. "We photographed it with three cameras and with a movie camera. It's emerged in the sky just over the horizon near Edinburgh, but it was a second or two before we realised what we had". The picture shows the lights of Edinburgh in the foreground. The rocket is seen as an illuminated cloud top centre." Malfunction[edit] Luna 1
Luna 1
was meant to crash on the moon; however, due to a malfunction of the ground control system, the probe missed its target by 5,995 kilometers. Despite this, Luna 1
Luna 1
still managed to collect vital information to assist in the understanding of the universe.[8] Its goal to crash on the Moon
Moon
was subsequently achieved by Luna 2
Luna 2
on September 13, 1959. See also[edit]

Moon
Moon
portal Spaceflight portal

Pioneer 4
Pioneer 4
– a similar NASA
NASA
mission launched 3 March 1959, two months after Luna 1.

References[edit]

^ David Darling, The complete book of spaceflight: from Apollo 1 to zero gravity. John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p. 244. ISBN 0-471-05649-9 ^ a b Brian Harvey, Russian planetary exploration: history, development, legacy, prospects. Springer, 2007, p.26. ISBN 0-387-46343-7 ^ David Darling, Internet Encyclopedia of Science. ^ "Luna 1". NASA
NASA
National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 4 August 2007.  ^ a b c "Soviet Space Rocket". Yearbook of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian). Moscow: Sovetskaya Enciklopediya. 1959. ISSN 0523-9613. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18.  ^ Cormack, Lesley B. (15 March 2012). A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-4426-0446-9. Retrieved 21 March 2012.  ^ "Luna 1".  ^ http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/luna_e1.htm

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Commons:RIA Novosti/Luna 1.

Boris Chertok, "Rakety i liudi: goriachie dni, kholodnoy voyny", Moscow, "Mashinostroenie", 2nd ed. (1999). Sect. 2–7. Luna (program) in Great Soviet Encyclopedia
Great Soviet Encyclopedia
(in Russian) Zarya – Luna 1
Luna 1
chronology NASA
NASA
NSSDC Luna 1
Luna 1
webpage Mstislav Gnevyshev's photograph of Luna 1
Luna 1
in flight FACTBOX – Reuters – Planned lunar missions Reuters: CHRONOLOGY – Five key dates in the race to the moon

v t e

Luna programme

Luna E-1 No.1 Luna E-1 No.2 Luna E-1 No.3 Luna 1 Luna E-1A No.1 Luna 2 Luna 3 Luna E-3 No.1 Luna E-3 No.2 Luna E-6 No.2 Luna E-6 No.3 Luna 4 Luna E-6 No.6 Luna E-6 No.5 Kosmos 60 Luna E-6 No.8 Luna 5 Luna 6 Luna 7 Luna 8 Luna 9 Kosmos 111 Luna 10 Luna 11 Luna 12 Luna 13 Luna E-6LS No.112 Luna 14 Luna E-8 No.201 Luna E-8-5 No. 402 Luna 15 Kosmos 300 Kosmos 305 Luna E-8-5 No. 405 Luna 16 Luna 17 Luna 18 Luna 19 Luna 20 Luna 21 Luna 22 Luna 23 Luna E-8-5M No. 412 Luna 24

v t e

← 1958  ·  Orbital launches in 1959  ·  1960 →

Mechta Vanguard 2
Vanguard 2
Discoverer 1
Discoverer 1
Pioneer 4
Pioneer 4
Discoverer 2
Discoverer 2
Unnamed · Unnamed Discoverer 3
Discoverer 3
Luna E-1A No.1 Unnamed Discoverer 4
Discoverer 4
Explorer S-1 Explorer 6
Explorer 6
Discoverer 5
Discoverer 5
Beacon 2 Discoverer 6
Discoverer 6
Luna 2
Luna 2
Transit 1A Vanguard 3
Vanguard 3
Luna 3
Luna 3
Explorer 7 Discoverer 7
Discoverer 7
Discoverer 8
Discoverer 8
Pioneer P-3

Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in brackets.

v t e

Spacecraft
Spacecraft
missions to the Moon

Programs

American

Apollo Lunar Orbiter Lunar Precursor Pioneer Ranger Surveyor

Chinese (CLEP) Indian (Chandrayaan) Japanese Russian

Luna-Glob

Soviet

Crewed Luna Zond Lunokhod

Current

Orbiters

ARTEMIS Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Past

Orbiters

Apollo 8 10 Apollo 15
Apollo 15
Subsatellite (PFS-1) Apollo 16
Apollo 16
Subsatellite (PFS-2) Chandrayaan-1 Chang'e 1 Chang'e 2 Clementine Explorer 35 Explorer 49 GRAIL Hiten LADEE Luna 10 11 12 14 19 22 Lunar Orbiter 1 2 3 4 5 Lunar Prospector SELENE
SELENE
(Kaguya, Okina & Ouna) SMART-1 Chang'e 5-T1
Chang'e 5-T1
(Service Module)

Flybys

4M Apollo 13 AsiaSat-3 Cassini–Huygens Chang'e 5-T1
Chang'e 5-T1
(Xiaofei) Galileo Geotail ICE Luna 1 Luna 3 Mariner 10 Nozomi Pioneer 4 Pioneer 10 Ranger 5 STEREO Zond 3 5 6 7 8

Impactors

LCROSS Luna 2 MIP Ranger 4 6 7 8 9

Landers

Apollo Lunar Module
Apollo Lunar Module
x6 ALSEP (x5) and EASEP (x1) Chang'e 3 Luna 9 13 17 21 Surveyor 1 3 5 6 7

Rovers

Apollo 15 16 17 Lunokhod 1 2 Yutu

Sample return

Apollo 11 12 14 15 16 17 Luna 16 20 24

Human landing

Apollo 11 12 14 15 16 17

Planned

EM-1 (2019)

Orion EM-1

ArgoMoon BioSentinel Cislunar Explorers CuSP CU-E3 EQUULEUS LunaH-Map Lunar Flashlight Lunar IceCube NEA Scout OMOTENASHI SkyFire Team Miles

Luna-Glob

Luna 25
Luna 25
(2019) Luna 26
Luna 26
(2021) Luna 27
Luna 27
(2022) Luna 28
Luna 28
(2025) Luna 29

Others

Chandrayaan-2
Chandrayaan-2
(2018) Chang'e 4
Chang'e 4
(2018) TESS (2018) Astrobotic / Hakuto
Hakuto
/ AngelicvM (2019) Chang'e 5
Chang'e 5
(2019) MX-1E (2019) PTScientists
PTScientists
(2019) Chang'e 6
Chang'e 6
(2020) SLIM (2021) DESTINY+
DESTINY+
(2022) EM-2 (2023) EM-3 (2023+)

Proposed

Baden-Württemberg 1 Blue Origin Blue Moon DSE-Alpha International Lunar Network Lunar Lander Lunar Mission One Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway Lunar Orbital Station MoonLITE OpenLuna Resource Prospector SELENE-R SpaceIL Synergy Moon TeamIndus

Cancelled

Altair European Lunar Explorer LEO LK Lunar-A Lunar Observer Lunokhod 3 MoonRise Prospector SpaceX lunar tourism mission Ukrselena

See also

Colonization of the Moon Exploration of the Moon Google Lunar X Prize List of Apollo astronauts List of lunar probes List of artificial objects on the Moon List of missions to the Moon Lunar rover Moon
Moon
landing

Conspiracy theories

Manned mi

.