Aug 14

Space Rocket History #75 – Luna 10, Surveyor 1, and Lunar Orbiter 1 – Scouting the Moon

In the 1960s, during the cold war, the US and Soviet Union turned their attention to the moon. The question was, who could place a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth first? Obtaining the necessary data on the moon to risk sending a person there was crucial. The US and Soviet Union chose unmanned spacecraft to scout for this information…

Luna 10

Luna 10

Surveyor 1 Mockup

Surveyor 1 Mockup

S1 with Atlas-Centar

Surveyor 1 Launch

Suv Foot Pad on Moon

S 1 Foot Pad on Moon

Suv Shadow on Moon

S 1 Shadow on Moon

Lunar Orbiter 1

Lunar Orbiter 1

First View of Earth from Moon

First View of Earth from Moon

Jun 27

Space Rocket History #18 – Luna 2 and 3

While the Mercury 7 were fulfilling their roles as symbols of space exploration, Korolev once again was offering the real thing. He now prepared to undertake the most demanding mission yet. The mission that would accomplish the next step in Korolev’s program of lunar exploration. He would attempt to photograph the far side of the moon.


Luna 2

Luna2Attached to Rocket

Luna 2 Attached to Rocket


Far Side of the Moon Photographed by Luna 3


Luna 3


Luna 3 Stamp

Jun 06

Space Rocket History #15 – Sputnik 3 & Luna 1

The launch vehicle for the Luna E-1 series was a modified R7 named Vostok.  The Vostok had three stages.  The first and second stage were the standard R-7 which we covered in Episode 9.  A 5.1 meter long by 2.4 meter diameter third stage was added to the top of the R-7.  The third stage weighed 1472 kg and was capable of delivering 54.5 kiloNewtons or 12,252 lbs of thrust.  This was the probes booster stage that gave it enough speed to escape Earth’s gravity.


Sputnik 3




Luna 1

Vostok - 8K72K