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14th September 1959, Luna 2 (non-fictional news story forward)

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  • raybell_scot
    Nearly fifty years ago, Luna 2 discovered the Solar Wind, and became the first human object to get to the Moon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_2 (yes, it s
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14, 2007
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      Nearly fifty years ago, Luna 2 discovered the Solar Wind, and became
      the first human object to get to the Moon.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_2 (yes, it's the dreaded wikipedia,
      but seems reasonably accurate)

      "Luna 2 (E-1A series) was the second of the Soviet Union's Luna
      program spacecraft launched in the direction of the Moon. It was the
      first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon, and it impacted the
      lunar surface west of Mare Serenitatis near the Aristides, Archimedes,
      and Autolycus craters.[1] Luna 2 was similar in design to Luna 1, a
      spherical spacecraft with protruding antennae and instrument parts.
      The instrumentation was also similar, including scintillation
      counters, geiger counters, a magnetometer, Cherenkov detectors, and
      micrometeorite detectors. There were no propulsion systems on Luna 2
      itself."

      "After launching on 13 September 1959, Luna 2 separated from its third
      stage, which travelled along with it towards the Moon. On 13 September
      the spacecraft released a bright orange cloud of sodium gas, which
      aided in spacecraft tracking and acted as an experiment on the
      behavior of gas in space. On 14 September, after 33.5 hours of flight,
      radio signals from Luna 2 abruptly ceased, indicating it had impacted
      on the Moon. The impact point, in the Palus Putredinis region, is
      roughly estimated to have occurred at 0 degrees longitude, 29.1
      degrees N latitude. Some 30 minutes after Luna 2, the third stage of
      its rocket also impacted the Moon. The mission confirmed that the Moon
      had no appreciable magnetic field, and found no evidence of the Moon
      having radiation belts."
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