Luna E-6 No.3


Luna E-6 No.3
Mission typeLunar lander
Mission durationFailed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeE-6
Launch mass1,422 kilograms (3,135 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date3 February 1963, 09:29:14 (1963-02-03UTC09:29:14Z) UTC
RocketMolniya-L 8K78/E6 s/n G103-10
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5

Luna E-6 No.3, also identified as No.2 and sometimes by NASA as Luna 1963B,[1] was a Soviet spacecraft which was lost in a launch failure in 1963. It was a 1,422-kilogram (3,135 lb) Luna E-6 spacecraft,[2] the second of twelve to be launched,[3] and the second consecutive launch failure.[3] It was intended to be the first spacecraft to perform a soft landing on the Moon, a goal which would eventually be accomplished by the final E-6 spacecraft, Luna 9.

Luna E-6 No.3 was launched at 09:26:14 UTC on 3 February 1963, atop a Molniya-L 8K78L carrier rocket,[3] flying from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.[4] A torque sensor in the gyroscope used to control the pitch of the upper stage malfunctioned, resulting in control of the rocket being lost.[5] The spacecraft failed to achieve orbit, and reentered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.[5] Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA correctly identified that it had been an attempt to land a spacecraft on the Moon. However, they believed the launch had occurred on 2 February.[1]


  1. ^ a b Williams, David R. (6 January 2005). "Tentatively Identified Missions and Launch Failures". NASA NSSDC. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Luna E-6". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter. "Luna E-6". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  5. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Soyuz". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.

External links

  • Zarya - Luna programme chronology