Luna 3 And the Far Side of the Moon

Oct. 7, 1959: Luna 3's Images From the Dark Side, Wired

"Luna 3's mission objective was to provide the first photographs from the moon's far side. To achieve this, the probe was equipped with a dual-lens 35mm camera, one a 200mm, f/5.6 aperture, the other a 500mm, f/9.5. The photo sequencing was automatically triggered when Luna 3's photocell detected the sunlit far side, which occurred when the craft was passing about 40,000 miles above the lunar surface. Luna 3's camera took 29 photographs over a 40-minute period, covering roughly 70 percent of the moon's far side. The photographs were developed, fixed and dried by the probe's onboard film processing unit. Seventeen images were successfully scanned and returned to Earth on Oct. 18, when Luna 3 was in position to begin transmitting."

Keith's note: Um, the 'dark side' of the Moon is constantly changing as the Moon spins on its axis - once a month. What Luna 3 photographed was the "far side" of the Moon.  If the side of the Moon that was photographed by Luna 3 was indeed "dark" then there'd be nothing in the photo, right?

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