Korolev / Lavochkin E-6M spacecraft as flown on Luna 13 with soil probe.
Credit: Andy Salmon
Russian lunar lander. One launch, 1966.12.21, Luna 13. Modernized version of the E-6 with the ALS lander mass increased from 84 kg to 150 kg. Conducted further scientific investigation of the moon and circumlunar space.
As with the E-6, after impact on the lunar surface by landing bag, the petal encasement of the spacecraft was opened, antennas were erected, and radio transmissions to Earth began four minutes after the landing. The additional payload meant that in addition to the camera the spacecraft was equipped with a mechanical soil-measuring penetrometer, a dynamograph, and a radiation densitometer for obtaining data on the mechanical and physical properties and the cosmic-ray reflectivity of the lunar surface.
Gross mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb).
More... - Chronology...
First Launch: 1966.12.21.
Number: 1 .
KTDU-5A Isayev Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. 45.5 kN. Used on Luna E-6 probes. Out of Production. Isp=287s. First turbopump engine with surface tension propellant management devices in tanks, allowing re-ignition in zero-G. More...
Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...
Associated Launch Vehicles
Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
Molniya 8K78M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya, in variants with Blocks ML, 2BL, or SO-L third stages according to payload. More...
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
Luna Soviet lunar probe series. Lunas were the first manmade objects to attain of escape velocity; to impact on the moon; to photograph the far side of the moon; to soft land on the moon; to retrieve and return lunar surface samples to the earth; and to deploy a lunar rover on the moon's surface. More...
McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
Varfolomyev, Timothy, "Soviet Rocketry that Conquered Space - Part 5", Spaceflight, 1998, Volume 40, page 85.
National Space Science Center Planetary Page, As of 19 February 1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
NASA Report, Luna-13 is on the moon, Web Address when accessed: here.
NASA Report, Success of Luna-13. The moon is not a dead heavenly body, Web Address when accessed: here.
Associated Launch Sites
Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...
Luna E-6M Chronology
1966 December 21 -
10:17 GMT - .
. Launch Complex
: Baikonur LC1
. LV Family
. Launch Vehicle
: Molniya 8K78M
. LV Configuration
: Molniya 8K78M N103-45.
- Luna 13 - .
Payload: E-6M s/n 205. Mass: 1,700 kg (3,700 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Program: Luna. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Luna E-6M. Decay Date: 1966-12-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 2626 . COSPAR: 1966-116A. Soft landed on Moon 24 December 1966 at 18:01:00 GMT, Latitude 18.87 N, 297.95 E - Oceanus Procellarum. The petal encasement of the spacecraft was opened, antennas were erected, and radio transmissions to Earth began four minutes after the landing. On December 25 and 26, 1966, the spacecraft television system transmitted panoramas of the nearby lunar landscape at different sun angles. Each panorama required approximately 100 minutes to transmit. The spacecraft was equipped with a mechanical soil-measuring penetrometer, a dynamograph, and a radiation densitometer for obtaining data on the mechanical and physical properties and the cosmic-ray reflectivity of the lunar surface. It is believed that transmissions from the spacecraft ceased before the end of December 1966.
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