Sept. 14, 1959: Soviet Luna 2 on moon

On Sept. 14, 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first man-made object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.

Luna 2 becomes the first artifact of humanity to strike the moon.

The Soviet Union launched The Sputnik-like probe from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sept. 12. It took 33.5 hours to reach its destination. Hitting the moon, as prestigious an accomplishment as it was for the young Soviet space program, was not Luna 2’s only objective. Prior to impact, the craft also sent back data confirming, among other things, that the moon had neither a magnetic field nor any radiation belts. more…

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