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Luna 11



Luna 11 was launched towards the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and entered lunar orbit on August 27, 1966 at 21:49 UT. Initial orbit was 163.5 x 1193.6 km. The objectives of the mission included the study of: (1) lunar gamma- and X-ray emissions in order to determine the Moon's chemical composition; (2) lunar gravitational anomalies; (3) the concentration of meteorite streams near the Moon; and, (4) the intensity of hard corpuscular radiation near the Moon. A total of 137 radio transmissions and 277 orbits of the Moon were completed before the batteries failed on October 1, 1966. No more tracking of the spacecraft was possible after this time, the orbit presumably decayed fairly rapidly and the spacecraft impacted the Moon in late 1966 or possibly 1967.

Spacecraft image for illustrative purposes - not necessarily in the public domain.

Alternate Names

  • Lunik 11
  • 02406
  • Luna11

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1966-08-24
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage + Escape Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 3616 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
Mr. Artem IvankovGeneral ContactLavochkin

Selected References

  • Luna 11, 12 and 13, TRW Space Log, TRW Systems Group, 6, No. 4, 50-53, Redondo Beach, Calif., 1967.
  • Shelton, W., Soviet space exploration - the first decade, Arthur Barker Ltd., Unnumbered, London, England, 1969.
  • 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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