Luna 10
Luna 10 was a Luna program, robotic spacecraft
Robotic spacecraft
A robotic spacecraft is a spacecraft with no humans on board, that is usually under telerobotic control. A robotic spacecraft designed to make scientific research measurements is often called a space probe. Many space missions are more suited to telerobotic rather than crewed operation, due to...

 mission, also called Lunik 10.
The Luna 10 spacecraft was launched towards the Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 from an Earth orbiting platform on March 31, 1966. It was the first artificial satellite of the Moon (or another heavenly body, for that matter). The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on April 3, 1966 and completed its first orbit 3 hours later (on April 4, Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 time). Scientific instruments included a gamma-ray
Gamma ray
Gamma radiation, also known as gamma rays or hyphenated as gamma-rays and denoted as γ, is electromagnetic radiation of high frequency . Gamma rays are usually naturally produced on Earth by decay of high energy states in atomic nuclei...

A spectrometer is an instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials. The variable measured is most often the light's intensity but could also, for instance, be the polarization...

 for energies between 0.3—3 MeV
In physics, the electron volt is a unit of energy equal to approximately joule . By definition, it is equal to the amount of kinetic energy gained by a single unbound electron when it accelerates through an electric potential difference of one volt...

 (50–500 pJ
The joule ; symbol J) is a derived unit of energy or work in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy expended in applying a force of one newton through a distance of one metre , or in passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second...

), a triaxial magnetometer
A magnetometer is a measuring instrument used to measure the strength or direction of a magnetic field either produced in the laboratory or existing in nature...

, a meteorite
A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface. Meteorites can be big or small. Most meteorites derive from small astronomical objects called meteoroids, but they are also sometimes produced by impacts of asteroids...

 detector, instruments for solar-plasma studies, and devices for measuring infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 emissions from the Moon and radiation conditions of the lunar environment. Gravitational studies were also conducted. The spacecraft played back to Earth The Internationale
The Internationale
The Internationale is a famous socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist anthem.The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular fame under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state's de facto central anthem...

during the Twenty-third Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

. Luna 10 was battery powered and operated for 460 lunar orbits and 219 active data transmissions before radio signals were discontinued on May 30, 1966.

After a midcourse correction on 1 April, Luna 10, the second of two hastily prepared Soviet Ye-6S probes (that is, the backup), successfully entered lunar orbit two days later at 18:44 UT, thus becoming the first man-made object to go into orbit around another planetary body. A 245-kilogram instrument compartment separated from the main bus, which was in a 350 x 1,000-kilometer orbit inclined at 71.9° to the lunar equator. The spacecraft carried a set of
solid-state oscillators that had been programmed to reproduce the notes of The Internationale
The Internationale
The Internationale is a famous socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist anthem.The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular fame under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state's de facto central anthem...

, so that it could be broadcast live to the 23rd Communist Party Congress. During a rehearsal on the night of 3 April, the playback went well, but the following morning, controllers discovered a missing note and played the previous night’s tape to the assembled gathering at the Congress—claiming it was a live broadcast from the Moon. Luna 10 conducted extensive research in lunar orbit, gathering important data on the strength of the Moon’s magnetic field, its radiation belts, and the nature of lunar rocks (which were found to be comparable to terrestrial basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

 rocks), cosmic radiation, and micrometeoroid
A micrometeoroid is a tiny meteoroid; a small particle of rock in space, usually weighing less than a gram. A micrometeor or micrometeorite is such a particle that enters the Earth's atmosphere or falls to Earth.-Scientific interest:...

 density. Perhaps its most important finding was the first evidence of mass concentration
Mass concentration
In astronomy or astrophysics mass concentration or mascon is a region of a planet or moon's crust that contains a large positive gravitational anomaly. In general, the word "mascon" can be used as a noun to describe an excess distribution of mass on or beneath the surface of a planet , such as Hawaii...

s (called “mascons”)—areas of high density below the mare basins that distort lunar orbital trajectories. Their discovery has usually been credited to the American Lunar Orbiter series. Last contact
was on 30 May 1966.
  • Launch Date/Time: 1966-03-31 at 10:48:00 UTC
  • On-orbit dry mass: 540 kg

External links

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