Luna 10

Courtesy of NASA's National Space Science Data Center


Launch Date/Time: 1966-03-31 at 10:48:00 UTC
Launch Site/Country: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R.
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage + Escape Stage
On-orbit dry mass: 540.00 kg. (1,188 lb.)


The Luna 10 spacecraft was launched towards the Moon from an Earth orbiting platform. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on April 4, 1966. Scientific instruments included a gamma-ray spectrometer for energies between 0.3--3 MeV, a triaxial magnetometer, a meteorite detector, instruments for solar-plasma studies, and devices for measuring infrared emissions from the Moon and radiation conditions of the lunar environment. Gravitational studies were also conducted. The spacecraft played back to Earth the Internationale during the Twenty-third Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Luna 10 was battery powered and operated for 460 lunar orbits and 219 active data transmissions before radio signals were discontinued on May 30, 1966.

Triaxial Fluxgate Magnetometer

Luna 10 measured the magnetic field of the moon intermittently for 2 months. The instrumentation consisted of a triaxial fluxgate magnetometer with a dynamic range of -50 to +50 gammas. No independent attitude determination system was employed, so only the magnitude of the magnetic field and the components parallel and perpendicular to the spin axis were determined. The magnetometer was located at the end of a boom 1.5 meters (5 feet) from the spacecraft surface. The sampling rate of the vector magnetic field was once every 128 seconds. The accuracy of the measurements was estimated from inflight data to be 9 gammas for the component parallel to the spin axis and 2.5 gammas for the component perpendicular to the spin axis, yielding a residual error of 10 gammas for the magnitude.


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