The Lunascan Project Moon Shot Series
LUNA 20
February 21, 1972


SW corner of Rukl Section 38


 
Section 38 is on the eastern limb, SE of Mare Crisium and contains the landing sites of four spacecraft, all Russian: Luna 15, 18, 20 & 24.  The Luna 18 & 20 landing sites were very close together. Luna 18, on September 7, 1971, entered lunar orbit,  completed 85 communications sessions and 54 lunar orbits, then was sent towards the lunar surface by use of braking rockets. It impacted the Moon on September 11, 1971 and signals ceased at the moment of impact. Luna 20, the topic of this web page was very successful.  Not much in the way of imaging is available, either in Earth-based telescopic or NASA spacecraft.

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Luna 20 was placed in an intermediate earth parking orbit and from this orbit was sent towards the Moon. It entered lunar orbit on February 18, 1972. On 21 February 1972, Luna 20 soft landed on the Moon in a mountainous area known as the Apollonius highlands near Mare Foecunditatis (Sea of Fertility), 120 km from where Luna 16 had impacted. While on the lunar surface, the panoramic television system was operated. Lunar samples were obtained by means of an extendable drilling apparatus. The ascent stage of Luna 20 was launched from the lunar surface on 22 February 1972 carrying 30 grams of collected lunar samples in a sealed capsule. It landed in the Soviet Union on 25 February 1972. The lunar samples were recovered the following day. 

 
Other Lunar Orbiter Views
None available

For the latest information and images regarding the area were this
spacecraft landed, go to:
 Section Directory 38 

Relevant Sites
The Luna 20 Spacecraft

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