Luna probes

Luna probes

(loo -nă) (Lunik probes) A series of Soviet lunar probes (see table) that included the first craft to reach the vicinity of the Moon (1), the first to photograph the farside (3), the first crash lander (2), soft lander (9), orbiter (10), robotic sample-return mission (16), and robotic roving vehicle (17). See also Lunar Orbiter probes; Lunokhod; Ranger; Surveyor; Zond probes.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
It was followed in succession by more Luna probes, then it was the Americans' turn with the Ranger and Surveyor programs.
Looking at the possibilities, (9) I have identified Russian Luna probes launched in 1959-1963 as the only likely candidates.
At least nine of the Luna probes failed in attempts to return lunar samples, though Luna 16, 20, and 24 ultimately were successful.
The United States, Russia and China have all landed probes on the near side of the Moon, though neither NASA's Apollo missions nor the Soviet Union's Luna probes have ever returned samples of the lunar mantle.
Almost all of the US Ranger spacecraft crashed onto the Moon, as did a number of Soviet Luna probes. In fact, NASA's Lunar Orbiters were designed to impact on command, as were several of the ascent stages of the Apollo lunar modules.