Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Luna 9 (1966)

Yuri's Night is April 12th, commemorating the flight of Vostok 1 in 1961, the first man in space.

For this year's posting I wanted to point out another Russian space milestone, the Luna 9 soft landing of a probe on the Moon on Feb 3 1966. To the Russian people this was a very big deal in showing their lead in the space race.

They issued a commomorative book collecting the coverage of this historic event. So here is a little space history that you may not have known. Again this was not a children's book but still a popular book at the time I am sure was in many homes and libraries.

They have a large number of editorial cartoons from the newspapers in this book but this one really says it all how exciting it was.  The number 1 event was a man in space, number 2 the sputnik launch, but the first soft landing on another planetary body was viewed as number 3 in the firsts the Soviet space program had accomplished.

A big part of the excitement was that it was able to send back pictures from the surface of the moon. It was like there was now a direct communication line with a body in the sky and many cartoons commented on this:

There was also world-wide press about the event:

It seemed to touch a nerve that this was the future of space exploration and the book included a couple of futuristic illustrations to suggest what might be next:

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