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Luna 1963B

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Title: Luna 1963B  
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Subject: S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, List of R-7 launches (1960–64), 1963 in spaceflight (January–June)
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Luna 1963B

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]

External links

  • Zarya - Luna programme chronology


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