luna 9

With the success of Apollo, it is easy to overlook the huge contribution of the Soviet Union to lunar exploration. Whilst the US Able, Pioneer and Ranger projects were consistently failing, the Luna missions were regularly orbiting and crashlanding on the Moon. Luna 9, which successfully touched down in the Oceanus Procellarum in 1966, was the Soviets' third attempt to softland on the lunar surface.

Photo: NASA.

Inconstant Moon