Luna 24Courtesy of NASA's National Space Science Data Center
Launch Date/Time: 1976-08-09 at 14:04:00 UTC
Launch Site/Country: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R.
Launch Vehicle: Proton Booster Plus Upper Stage and Escape Stages
On-orbit dry mass: 4800.00 kg. (10,560 lbs.)
DescriptionThe last of the Luna series of spacecraft, the mission of the Luna 24 probe was the third Soviet mission to retrieve lunar ground samples (the first two were returned by Luna 16 and 20). The probe landed in the area known as Mare Crisium (Sea of Crisis). The mission successfully returned the samples to the Earth on August 22, 1976.