Luna 1 commemmorative stamp

Luna 1 commemmorative stamp

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Luna 1 commemmorative stamp. Soviet postage stamp dedicated to the Luna 1 unmanned probe, launched on 2 January 1959 (date at upper right). Luna 1 was the first spacecraft in the Soviet Moon exploration programme. It was the first spacecraft to attain escape velocity from the Earth (centre). It was intended to impact the Moon (lower right), but missed and became the first spacecraft to enter an independent orbit around the Sun. Discoveries made by Luna 1 include the absence of a lunar magnetic field, the existence and extent of the solar wind, and details of the Earth's radiation belts. Photographed in 1969.

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