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Luna 8



Luna 8 was launched with the intended mission of achieving a soft landing on the Moon. However, a puncture to a cushioning airbag caused the spacecraft to spin, losing attitude control and preventing full firing of the retrorockets. The spacecraft impacted the lunar surface at 9.1 N, 63.3 W in the Sea of Storms at 21:51:30 UT on 6 December 1965. The mission did complete the experimental development of the star-orientation system and ground control of radio equipment, flight trajectory, and other instrumentation.

Alternate Names

  • Lunik 8
  • 01810
  • Luna8

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1965-12-03
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage + Escape Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 1550 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Planetary Science
  • Space Physics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Selected References

  • Shelton, W., Soviet space exploration - the first decade, Arthur Barker Ltd., Unnumbered, London, England, 1969.
  • Harvey, B., The new Russian space programme from competition to collaboration, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England, 1996.
  • Johnson, N. L., Handbook of soviet lunar and planetary exploration - volume 47 science and technology series, Amer. Astronau. Soc. Publ., 1979.
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