First image from the dark side
On this day 62 years ago, the Soviet Luna 3 space probe took the first-ever photos of the far side of the Moon. It imaged 70% of the surface that is not visible from Earth.
Image credit: Luna 3-1, Russian Space Agency
🏆 First photos of far side of the Moon; 29 photos were taken, which the probe automatically developed and then scanned the film to transmit back to Earth. Radio antennas received the images the next day. 17 of the 29 images were of usable quality and gave us a never-before seen view of the far side of the moon – changing our theories and understanding of how the moon evolved.
🏆 First gravity-assist manoeuvre (“sling-shot”) around the Moon, calculated to propel the probe back to the Earth’s over the Northern Hemisphere to allow Soviet antennae to receive the images.
See more information about the mission:
Simple astronomy – accessible to everyone
Please see my beginner’s guides: including getting started with a new telescope, cleaning and centre spotting your primary mirror.