Project Luna

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The Luna program launched the modern history of lunar exploration in the year 1959 with these three missions from the USSR.

Spacecraft Name Type Launch Date Date of Lunar Encounter Country Launcher Comments
Luna 1 Lunar Flyby January 2, 1959 at 16:41:21 UTC January 4, 1959 USSR SS-6/R-7 (8K72) First spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon , closest distance 5,995 km, impact intended
Luna 2 Lunar Impact September 12, 1959 at 06:39:42 UTC September 14, 1959, 22:02:24 UTC USSR SS-6/R-7 (8K72) First Lunar Impact - Landing coordinates: 29.1° N, 0° W.
Luna 3 Lunar Flyby October 4, 1959 at 02:24:00 UTC October 6, 1959, 14:16 UTC USSR SS-6/R-7 (8K72) First images of the far side of the Moon; closest distance of 6,200 km near south pole