Courtesy of NASA's National Space Science Data Center
Launch Date/Time: 1966-12-21 at 10:19:00 UTC
Launch Site/Country: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R.
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage +
On-orbit dry mass: 1700.00 kg. (3,740 lb.)
The Luna 13 spacecraft was launched toward the Moon from an earth-orbiting
platform and accomplished a soft landing on December 24, 1966, in the region
of 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
The purpose of this experiment was to obtain information on the
characteristics of the lunar surface. These characteristics included the
amount of cratering, structure and size of craters, the amount,
distribution, and sizes of ejecta, mechanical properties of the surface such
as bearing strength, cohesiveness, compaction, etc. Determination and
recognition of processes operating to produce the lunar surface features
also were among the objectives of this photographic experiment.
It is believed that transmissions from the spacecraft ceased
before the end of December 1966.
Views of the Solar System Copyright © 1997 by
Calvin J. Hamilton. All rights reserved.