The soft- landers and orbiters
With man-on-the-moon plans in full swing, the next stage for the Soviet Union was to send unmanned probes to pave the way. These were essential for a manned landing on the moon. The successful landing of a probe intact on the lunar surface was necessary to test whether a piloted vehicle could later land on the moon at all. The nature of the surface would have a strong bearing on the design, strength and structure of the lunar landing legs. The level of dust would determine the landing method and such issues as the approach and the windows. The successful placing of probes in lunar orbit was necessary to assess potential landing sites that would be safe for touchdown and of scientific interest. Stable communications would also be essential for complex operations taking place 350,000 km away. Unmanned missions would address each of these key issues, one by one.
KeywordsLunar Surface Lunar Orbit Communication Session Design Bureau Chief Designer
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