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Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration

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Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration

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This book tells the story of the Soviet and Russian lunar programme, from its origins to the present-day federal Russian space pr...

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When the Soviets experienced a series of setbacks in their space program the USSR switched emphasis in their manned space program away from the Moon towards the creation of orbital scientific research... platforms, the Space Station. With the success of Apollo, the Soviets claimed they had never actually intended to fly to the Moon, and that the space station was always their long-term goal. However, recently disclosed Russian archives show that, contrary to official statements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a planned Soviet program to send cosmonauts around the Moon and eventually to land on the surface. For the Americans, having lost their only competitor in the race for the Moon, the need for the Apollo program was questioned even before the first landing was achieved. With the near tragic flight of Apollo 13 in 1970 the pressure was on to cut the program and redirect efforts towards more Earth-focused objectives. At the height of success, the Apollo missions were reduced from 20 to 17, and plans for extending the flights to include lunar stays of 14 days to create a lunar base were scrapped. In the three decades since Apollo there has been very little exploration of the Moon by either America or Russia. The final Soviet Luna probe flew in 1976 and the following year the network of scientific experiments left on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts were switched off. Whilst many plans were put forward to return to the Moon, only two probes, Clementine and Lunar Prospector have supplemented information from the Apollo era.
  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Publication Date: 18/12/2006
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
  • Illustrations: 124 Illustrations, black and white; XXII, 318 p. 124 illus.
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Pages: 318
  • Weight: 1060g
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  • Format:Paperback
  • Publication Date: 18/12/2006
  • Author:Brian Harvey, David J. Shayler

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