Soviet Luna 16 spacecraft, 1970

Soviet Luna 16 spacecraft, 1970

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Soviet Luna 16 spacecraft model, showing its launch from the Moon. The Luna 16 unmanned space probe was launched by the Soviet Union on 12th September 1970. It landed on the Moon on 20th September, obtained a sample of lunar soil, and then lifted off again just over a day later. It safely returned to Earth on 24th September 1970. It was the third mission that successfully returned a lunar sample, the first by the Soviet Union, after two earlier missions by the USA. Photographed in March 1970.

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