Russians Tried to Beat Apollo 11 in the Race to the Moon by Crash Landing a Spacecraft

A newly released recording from a British control room monitoring lunar activity in the late 1960s revealed that the Russian actually tried to beat the Americans in the race to the Moon: just hours before the Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, a Russian spacecraft Luna-15 crash-landed there:

Sir Bernard Lovell, the astronomer, was among the team listening to transmissions coming from the area of space and began tracking the unmanned Soviet spacecraft Luna 15, which was trying to collect samples of lunar soil and rock and then return to Earth before the US mission.

The recordings from Jodrell's Lovell radio telescope, which were hidden in archives until researchers found them, show the Russian craft orbited the Moon and crash-landed onto its surface at 15:50 on July 21 – just a few hours before the Americans lifted off. [...]

People in Jodrell's control room can then be heard shouting "it's landing" and "it's going down much too fast" as they track Luna 15's final moments before it crashes.

A voice is later heard saying: "I say, this has really been drama of the highest order."

Link - via 80beats


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Ah, I really enjoy Neatorama's tidbits of information I hadn't previously heard of feature. I keeps my office mates assured of their conviction that I really am full of useless information.
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I made a film called DID WE GO?
I was paid $65,000 from the State of Ohio to try and prove we really landed on the moon.

I traveled all over OHIO trying to get Neil to talkā€¦he will not talk to anyone.

Here is link to my film on youtube. It opens with me on WLW-AM Radio in Ohio, trying to reach out to Neil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM3Mt1Vym3g

please share this link
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@Walaka - it's amazing how much info you can get by actually READING the articles.

Luna 15 was supposed to LAND, get rock samples, and RETURN - therefore "beating" the American's in bringing back Moon Rocks.

Since it crashed - that didn't happen and Apollo 11 brought back the first samples.
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Sorry, but the difference between imagining throwing a rock at a target, and imagining safely landing a human there, then returning him to earth is significant.
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I don't understand the headline. If unmanned stuff counts, the Soviets beat us to the moon several times before this incident:

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2007/09/dayintech_0914
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