Luna 11

Luna 11The Soviet Union launches unmanned space probe Luna 11 toward the moon, the first of a new, smaller generation of Luna probes designed to survey the moon from orbit. Unlike its predecessor, Luna 11 is equipped with cameras, and like NASA’s Lunar Orbiter, Luna 11 is tasked with mapping the moon in advance of a presumed attempt to land cosmonauts there. However, an attitude control problem points Luna 11’s cameras away from the moon, unable to transmit useful imagery back to Earth. Luna 11 remains functional in orbit of the moon for six weeks.