Luna 22
Mission typeLunar orbiter
COSPAR ID1974-037A[1]
SATCAT no.07315Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration~521 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeE-8-LS
ManufacturerGSMZ Lavochkin
Launch mass5,700 kilograms (12,600 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date29 May 1974, 08:57:00 (1974-05-29UTC08:57Z) UTC[1]
Launch siteBaikonur 81/24
End of mission
DeactivatedEarly November 1975 (1975-12)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemSelenocentric
Semi-major axis6,598.3 kilometres (4,100.0 mi)
Periselene altitude219 kilometres (136 mi)
Aposelene altitude222 kilometres (138 mi)
Inclination19.35 degrees
Period130 minutes
Lunar orbiter
Orbital insertion2 June 1974

Luna 22 (Ye-8-LS series) was an uncrewed space mission, part of the Soviet Luna program, also called Lunik 22.


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Luna 22 was a lunar orbiter mission. The spacecraft carried imaging cameras and also had the objectives of studying the Moon's magnetic field, surface gamma ray emissions and composition of lunar surface rocks, and the gravitational field, as well as micrometeorites and cosmic rays. Luna 22 was launched into Earth parking orbit and then to the Moon. It was inserted into a circular lunar orbit on 2 June 1974. The spacecraft made many orbit adjustments over its 18-month lifetime in order to optimize the operation of various experiments, lowering the perilune to as little as 25 km.

Luna 22 was the second of two "advanced" lunar orbiters, the first of which being Luna 19 . The orbiter was designed to conduct extensive scientific surveys from orbit. Well in route to the Moon, Luna 20 had to perform a single mid-course correction on 30 May, and entered lunar orbit on 2 June 1974. When the orbiter first entered orbit of the Moon, it started at periapsis altitude at 219 kilometres (136 mi) and apoapsis altitude as 222 kilometres (138 mi), and an inclination of 19°35', these orbital parameters changed throughout its mission. Throughout the orbiters various orbital changes, Luna 22 had performed without any problems, and it continued to return photos fifteen months into its mission, past the conclusion of its primary mission, which had ended by 2 April 1975. The maneuvering propellant on the spacecraft was depleted on 2 September 1975, and the mission was formally concluded in early November 1975, following a highly successful mission. [2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Luna 22". NASA.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Siddiqi, Asif. Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration (PDF). ISBN 9781626830431. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 March 2021.
Preceded by
Luna 21
Luna programme Succeeded by
Luna 23