SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Final stage of the Luna 1 Soviet rocket, exhibition model. Launched on 2 January 1959, this rocket (a R-7 Semyorka) took Luna 1 into orbit. The Luna 1 spacecraft emerged from this final stage, and then used its own propulsion systems to travel to and pass close by the Moon, the first spacecraft in history to achieve this. After passing the Moon, its trajectory turned it into a satellite of the Sun, the first spacecraft to enter an independent orbit of the Sun. This life-size model was photographed in 1966 as part of an exhibition at the All-Russia Exposition Centre, Moscow, Russia.
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