Luna E-8-5 No.402

Luna E-8-5 No.402

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Luna E-8-5 No.402

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Luna E-8-5 No.402, also known as Luna Ye-8-5 No.402, and sometimes identified by NASA as Luna 1969C, was a Soviet spacecraft which was lost in a launch failure in 1969. It was a Luna E-8-5 spacecraft, the first of eight to be launched. It was intended to perform a soft landing on the Moon, collect a sample of lunar soil, and return it to the Earth. It was, along with Luna 15, one of two unsuccessful missions which had been launched by the Soviet Union in a last-ditch attempt to upstage the Apollo 11 landing.

Luna E-8-5 No.402 was launched at 04:00:07 UTC on 14 June 1969 atop a Proton-K 8K78K carrier rocket with a Blok-D upper stage, flying from Site 81/24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA correctly identified that it had been an attempted sample return mission, however they believed that a previous attempt had been made, using a spacecraft launched on 30 April, which had also been lost in a launch failure. They designated that attempt Luna 1969B.


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