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Luna 19



Luna 19 was placed in an intermediate Earth parking orbit after launch on 28 September 1971 and, from this orbit, was sent toward the Moon. It was placed in a 141.2 x 133.9 km lunar orbit on October 2, 1971. Luna 19 extended the systematic study of lunar gravitational fields and location of mascons (mass concentrations). It also studied the lunar radiation environment, the gamma-active lunar surface, and the solar wind. Photographic coverage via a television system was also obtained.

The mission underwent an orbital correction on 6 October, but an orientation system failure put the spacecraft in a higher than planned orbit. Communications were lost on 1 November 1972 after over 4000 orbits. The orbit presumably decayed over the next year or less, resulting in an impact on the lunar surface at an unknown location.

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

Alternate Names

  • Lunik 19
  • 05488
  • Luna19

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1971-09-28
Launch Vehicle: Proton Booster Plus Upper Stage and Escape Stages
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 5600 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

  • 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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