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Pervoje fortografii obratnoj storonoe Lunoe [Russian - i.e. first photographs of the backside of the Moon].
Moscow, 1959. 4to. In publisher's embossed full blue buckram with gilt lettering to front board. Light soiling to extremities and sunning to spine. Fine and clean. 33, (3) pp. + 4 plates (photos depicting the Moon).. First edition of the first publication to include mankind's first views of the far hemisphere of the Moon. The photos of the far side of the moon, never seen before from the Earth as it is always facing away, caused global excitement and interest when the present publication was released just a few months after the photographs had been taken by Soviet satellite Luna 3. A year later, in 1960, an English translation of the present work was published and the first globe (1:13 600 000 scale) containing lunar features invisible from the Earth was released in the USSR based on the present images. The Soviet launched the Luna 3 satellite (also referred to as Lunik 3 or E-2A No.1) on 4 October. Luna 3 was third attempt made by the Soviet to photograph the Moon's surface: Luna 1, missed the Moon and carried on into space and Luna 2 suffered the unfortunate fate of being the first craft to crash onto the Moon's surface. The time was chosen so that Lunik 3 would be between the Sun and the Moon, meaning about 70% of the far side would be lit by the Sun. A total of 29 pictures were taken. Attempts to transmit the pictures to the Soviet Union began on October 8 but the early attempts were unsuccessful due to the poor signal strength. As Luna 3 came closer to the Earth, 17 viewable but poor quality photographs were transmitted by the 18th of October. All contact with the probe was lost on 22 October 1959. Due to the invisibility from Earth the far side of the Moon had for many year been subject of UFO sightings and various more or less creative conspiracies. Some conspiracy theorists, have alleged that some Apollo astronauts had seen UFOs on the far side of the Moon but were told to keep quiet about them. Some have allegedly reported seeing an alien base and even encountered aliens who told them to stay off the Moon. Some photographs circulated on the Internet purport to show a large "castle" on the far side of the Moon. These theories were not entirely put to rest but Luna 3 not only marked the beginning the famous lunar explorations in the 60ies which eventually culminated with the landing of the first humans on the moon in 1969, its success proved to be a major propaganda coup by the Soviet Union in the space-race with the US
      [Bookseller: Lynge & Søn A/S]
Last Found On: 2015-12-15           Check availability:      Antikvariat    

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