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One of the favorite topics of our news is about moon landing. So, on this day (on September 20, 1970) the Soviet Union’s Luna 16 moon probe landed on the moon. Four days later, it became the first robotic spacecraft to return a sample of lunar soil to Earth.
Luna 16, following five unsuccessful previous attempts, was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth. The sample was returned from Mare Fecunditatis. It characterized the first lunar sample return mission by the Soviet Union and was the third lunar sample return mission overall, following the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions.
Overall, this was the third lunar sample brought to Earth. NASA’s Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions had also brought back some rocks and soil from the moon. Luna 16 made a soft landing on the lunar surface in a mare known as “the Sea of Fertility,” where it retrieved 101 grams of lunar soil.
The spacecraft descent stage was equipped with a television camera, radiation and temperature monitors, telecommunications equipment, and an extendable arm with a drilling rig for the collection of a lunar soil sample.
According to Wikipedia “The Luna 16 automated station was launched toward the Moon from a preliminary Earth orbit and after one mid-course correction on 13 September it entered a circular 111 km with 70° inclination lunar orbit on 17 September 1970”.
We also have an article about the first humans on the moon. Who were these 12 people that first foot on the moon? Read this article here.
Source: Text; Wikipedia, space.com
Image credit; Wikipedia