Product Idea |

Luna 2 Probe/8k72 Rocket

Luna 2 was the second Soviet probe sent to the moon and the first lunar impactor probe, hitting the moon on September 13, 1959 east of Mare Imbrium and near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus. Luna 2 is one of the less well-known space probes, but it still has quite a legacy, helping confirm the existence of the Van Allen belts, making the first direct measurement of solar wind flux outside the Earth's magnetosphere, and generating scientific data that was printed on 14 kilometers of teletype, which was published in spring 1960.

The 8K72 rocket is similar to the rocket that launched Sputnik into orbit, only with an upper stage to allow the payload to reach even further. It flew 9 times, of which only 3 were successful. The first launch failed due to the vehicle swaying back and forth, causing the Boosters to detach from the rocket, which crashed back down to the ground. The second failed due to a similar problem, and the third failed due to the Core Stage not having enough engine lubricant. The fourth flight launched Luna 1 past the moon into a heliocentric orbit. The fifth flight ended because of a guidance failure that caused the engines to shut off. The sixth launch got Luna 2 to the moon, and the final successful launch of the 8K72 rocket was for Luna 3, which took pictures of the far side of the moon. The eighth launch failed when the Upper Stage developed a problem with thrust and re-entered the atmosphere, and the final launch failed due to one of the Boosters detaching from the rocket, which tore the vehicle to shreds.

This 601 part build is separated into multiple major parts; the Launchpad, the Boosters, the Core Stage, and the Upper Stage. The Launchpad features rotating launch clamps that help keep the roughly 58 centimeter tall build upright. The Boosters can attach to and detach from the Core Stage, which contributes to most of the height of the model. The detachable Upper Stage lets you remove the fairing to reveal Luna 2.

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