The Luna 16 Spacecraft

On this day in 1970 the Soviet spacecraft Luna 16 was launched. It was the first robotic probe to successfully land on the moon and return lunar soil samples to Earth. Five previous attempts to accomplish the task had failed. This was also the date in 1962 when U.S. President John F Kennedy gave his famous speech announcing that the United States would attempt to land humans on the moon before the end of the decade.

Luna 16

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