14 September – On this day

The Soviet union win the race to the moon by crashing the first man-made object into the moon.

LUNA 2 crashed into the moon at 7,500 miles an hour at 2 minutes and 24 seconds after midnight Moscow time. The instrument package attached to the rocket covered a distance of 236,875 miles in about 35 hours and sent signals back to earth right up until the impact with the moon which was not visible from earth. The rocket also carried steel pennants to be deposited on the surface of the moon during the crash bearing soviet symbology.

Kansas_Cosmosphere_Luna_2_Pennant_2013
Pennant sphere

Picture credits:

Featured image: “Luna 2 Soviet moon probe” by NASA – http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1959-014A. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons 

Pennant sphere: “Kansas Cosmosphere Luna 2 Pennant 2013” by Patrick Pelletier – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons