The Lunascan Project Moon Shot Series
February 3, 1966


The Luna 9 spacecraft  was the first spacecraft to achieve a lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth. The automatic lunar station that achieved the soft landing weighed 99 Kg. It was a hermetically sealed container with radio equipment, a program timing device, heat control systems, scientific apparatus, power sources, and a television system. The Luna 9 payload was carried to Earth orbit by an A-2-E vehicle and then conveyed toward the Moon by a fourth stage rocket that separated itself from the payload. Flight apparatus separated from the payload shortly before Luna 9 landed. After landing near  Cavalerius in the Ocean of Storms on February 3, 1966, the four petals, which formed the spacecraft, opened outward and stabilized the spacecraft on the lunar surface. Spring-controlled antennas assumed operating positions, and the television camera rotatable mirror system, which operated by revolving and tilting, began a photographic survey of the lunar environment. Seven radio sessions, totaling 8 hours and 5 minutes, were transmitted as were three series of TV pictures. When assembled, the photographs provided a panoramic view of the nearby lunar surface. The pictures included views of nearby rocks and of the horizon 1.4 Km away from the spacecraft.


Southern portion of Section 28


For a full report on the area discussed and Luna 9, see link below. Briefly, as you can see from the portion of the Rukl Chart (28) above, this is the western limb of the Moon and the crater shapes are distorted due to this. 

Report on Cavalerius & Luna 9


Cropped Lunar Orbiter image
Full frame of LO4-162H1 above

The cropped image above by Lunar Orbiter 4 is an overhead view which shows the true shape of the lunar features, including the full view of the 58-km crater, Cavalerius. Luna 9 made the first soft landing just one crater length NE of this crater.

Other Lunar Orbiter Views

For the latest information and images regarding the area were this
spacecraft landed, go to:
Section Directory 28

Relevant Sites
 NSSDC Master Catalog: Spacecraft Luna 9

This web page created by Francis Ridge for The Lunascan Project for

Moon Shot
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