Luna-16 Lander

Scale model
Date of appearance: 1972
Developer: NPO Lavochkin
Manufacturer: Moscow Experimental Factory of Visual Aids
Made in: Moscow, USSR
Scale: 1:3
Dimensions: 1.3 × 1.25 × 1.85 m
Weight: 40 kg
Materials: aluminium, steel, plastic
Colors: cream
Tags: cosmos, birthofnewage, polytech, space, translate


The station was developed by the design bureau of the Lavochkin machine-building plant in Khimki with the intention to deliver to Earth a sample of lunar soil. To do this, in addition to the landing platform, Luna-16 was equipped with the descent rockets and a descent capsule. It was launched on September 12, 1970, and on September 20 the station softly landed. Due to the weight restrictions of the re-entry capsule, the landing spot was chosen so that the initial trajectory of the rocket on the way to the Earth would be as close as possible in relation to the surface of the moon, which would greatly simplify the maneuvering and trajectory correction. As a result, the station landed almost on the equator, in Mare Fecunditatis (the Sea of ​​Fertility), thus setting the record in maximum weight that was ever delivered to the moon. After the samples of the soil were taken, the ascent rocket was successfully launched. On September 24, 1970, the re-entry capsule with a sample of lunar soil soft-landed in Kazakhstan. Thus, for the first time in history, the unmanned apparatus recovered a substance from the surface of an extraterrestrial body (the previous soil sample was brought by the American astronauts of the Apollo lunar mission).

Luna-16 Lander
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