Thursday, February 3, 1966: Luna 9

A Soviet space station made history's first soft landing on the moon Thursday, Moscow announced. British scientists in England said the unmanned capsule, Luna 9, sent pictures back to earth from the moon's surface. A Tass announcement said the landing was made ... after the ship, launched Jan. 31, had hurtled through space for more than three days. The first American attempt at a soft landing, a key step in putting a man on the moon, is not expected before May. A soft landing means bringing an instrument package down on the surface slowly enough so that there is no crash and resultant destruction.
     -- Associated Press: @
     -- Image from Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester: @  (More from Jodrell Bank: @)

* "Soviets Soft Land on Moon" (St. Petersburg Times): @
* "Soviet's Luna 9 Lands on Moon, Photos Sent" (United Press International): @
* Summary from BBC: @
* Summary from NASA: @ and @
* Summary from Zarya: @
* "The Search for Luna 9" (Air & Space magazine, September 2015): @
* "The forgotten moon landing that paved the way for today's space adventures" (The Conversation, February 2016): @
* "How Russia Beat the U.S. to the Moon" (The Daily Beast, February 2016): @ 

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