Luna E-6 No.6

Luna E-6 No.6, sometimes identified by NASA as Luna 1964A,[1] was a Soviet spacecraft which was lost in a launch failure in 1964. It was a 1,422-kilogram (3,135 lb) Luna E-6 spacecraft,[2] the fourth of twelve to be launched,[3] It was intended to be the first spacecraft to perform a soft landing on the Moon, a goal which would eventually be accomplished by the final E-6 spacecraft, Luna 9.

Luna E-6 No.6
Mission typeLunar lander
Mission durationFailed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeE-6
Launch mass1,422 kilograms (3,135 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date21 March 1964, 08:15:35 (1964-03-21UTC08:15:35Z) UTC
RocketMolniya-M 8K78M s/n T15000-20
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5

Luna E-6 No.6 was launched at 08:15:35 UTC on 21 March 1964, atop a Molniya-M 8K78M carrier rocket,[3] flying from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.[4] A connecting rod in the Blok I stage broke, leading to a propellant valve failing to open completely. The stage developed insufficient thrust to reach orbit and it shut down at T+489 seconds. The upper stages and probe reentered the atmosphere and broke up.[5] Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA correctly identified that it had been an attempt to land a spacecraft on the Moon.[1]


  1. Williams, David R. (6 January 2005). "Tentatively Identified Missions and Launch Failures". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  2. Wade, Mark. "Luna E-6". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  3. Krebs, Gunter. "Luna E-6". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  4. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  5. Wade, Mark. "Soyuz". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.

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