NSSDC ID: 66-006A
The Luna 9 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to achieve a
lunar soft landing and to transmit photographic data to Earth.
The automatic lunar station that achieved the soft landing
weighed 99 Kg. It was a hermetically sealed container with
radio equipment, a program timing device, heat control systems,
scientific apparatus, power sources, and a television system.
The Luna 9 payload was carried to Earth orbit by an A-2-E
vehicle and then conveyed toward the Moon by a fourth stage
rocket that separated itself from the payload. Flight apparatus
separated from the payload shortly before Luna 9 landed. After
anding in the Ocean of Storms on February 3, 1966, the four
petals, which formed the spacecraft, opened outward and
stabilized the spacecraft on the lunar surface. Spring-
controlled antennas assumed operating positions, and
the television camera rotatable mirror system, which operated
by revolving and tilting, began a photographic survey of the
lunar environment. Seven radio sessions, totaling 8 hours and
5 minutes, were transmitted as were three series of TV pictures.
When assembled, the photographs provided a panoramic
view of the nearby lunar surface. The pictures included views
of nearby rocks and of the horizon 1.4 Km away from the