Luna-3 Spacecraft

Scale model
Date of appearance: 1959 —
Developer: OKB-1 (now RSC Energia)
Manufacturer: Moscow Experimental Factory of Visual Aids
Made in: Korolyov, USSR
Scale: 1:3
Dimensions: 730 × 470 × 490 mm
Weight: 6.45 kg
Materials: steel, plexiglas
Tags: cosmos, birthofnewage, polytech, space, translate


Luna-3 is the seventh spacecraft in the Soviet lunar program, it was developed by OKB-1 (now RSC Energia). The main mission of the station was to photograph the lunar surface, in particular, its far side which was beyond the reach of Earth telescopes. The launch took place on October 4, 1959, less than a year after «Luna-1». The trajectory of the station was very difficult for its time. For the first time in the history of exploration of outer space, it involved the gravity assist maneuver that would allow the station to fly around the far side of the moon and go back to Earth after the resulting acceleration. On October 7 the station photographed the moon, including its far side. The film was automatically developed directly on board (digital cameras did not yet exist), and the images were transmitted to Earth. According to the calculations, «Luna-3» had to get in contact with the Earth again, to transfer pictures from a closer distance, but no further contacts happened. Despite the noisy quality of the received images, they allowed the researchers to see some previously unknown areas of the lunar surface and give names to many of them.

Luna-3 Spacecraft
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