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Revealing the Moon

  • Brian Harvey
  • Olga Zakutnyaya
Chapter
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

Beyond the Earth and its environment, the Moon was the next target of Soviet space science. As far back as 1954, when he wrote Report on an Artificial Satellite of the Earth, Mikhail Tikhonravov outlined how a rocket could send a satellite not just into Earth orbit, but on its way to the Moon. In February 1956, the State University of Leningrad convened a national conference to review the state of knowledge of the Moon and the planets. In April 1956, at the Academy of Sciences conference that reviewed the sounding rocket program ("On Rocket Research into the Upper Layers of the Atmosphere"), Sergei Korolev outlined how it would be possible to fly a rocket to the Moon in the "not too distant future". In January 1958, Korolev and Tikhonravov formally sent proposals to the government for the construction of the first spacecraft to be sent to the Moon (“On the Launches of Rockets to the Moon“) and, with the United States also announcing its intention to send rockets to the Moon, this was quickly approved. The first Soviet attempts to launch Moon rockets failed, success coming on the fourth attempt, in January 1959. Leaving out technical challenges, the Moon program was a serious scientific undertaking. First, lunar probes would be the first artificial objects to leave near-Earth space and enter interplanetary space, the parameters of which had hitherto been assessed only theoretically. Second, the Moon itself was an intriguing object, for its composition might be a clue to the origin of the Moon and the Earth-Moon system, not to mention the far side of the Moon, which had never been observed before.

Keywords

Solar Wind Space Research Cosmic Research Landing Site Lunar Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Harvey
    • 1
  • Olga Zakutnyaya
    • 2
  1. 1.Dublin 6WIreland
  2. 2.Space Research InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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