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Mapping of landing sites of the automated interplanetary stations launched under the Soviet Lunar Program


  Surveying of the Moon by space vehicles began on September 14, 1959 with the impact of the Soviet automatic interplanetary station "Luna-2" with the Moon. The same year the automatic interplanetary station "Luna-3" obtained the first images of the Moon's surface. From modern remote sensing data there was performed the mapping of the landings sites of some automatic interplanetary stations under the Soviet Lunar Program (1970-1975) like "Luna-16", "Luna-17", "Luna-18", "Luna-20", "Luna-21", "Luna-23", "Luna-24". The "Luna-17" and "Luna-21" missions were designed to deliver the Lunokhod-1 and Lunokhod-2 rovers to the Moon, the rest of the automatic stations were to deliver lunar soil to the Earth.

A general map of the landing sites of the automatic interplanetary stations under the Soviet Lunar Program: USGS color relief shading (500 m/pixel)

A general map of the landing sites of the automatic interplanetary stations under the Soviet Lunar Program: USGS color relief shading (500 m/pixel)

The area of the landing sites of the Soviet automatic stations: LRO WAC orthomosaic (100 m/pixel), DEM (30 m/pixel)

The area of the landing sites of the Soviet automatic stations: LRO WAC orthomosaic (100 m/pixel), DEM (30 m/pixel)

The site of "Luna-18" automatic interplanetary station falling (1971): LRO NAC (0.5 m/pixel)

The arrow on the right-hand side of the figure shows the location of the automatic station on the Moon’s surface

The site of "Luna-18" automatic interplanetary station falling (1971): LRO NAC (0.5 m/pixel)
The arrow on the right-hand side of the figure shows the location of the automatic station on the Moon's surface

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