CIWR: FAILURE OF SOVIET LUNAR ATTEMPT

Created: 1/11/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

6 secret

Current Intelligence Weekly Review

FAILURE OF SOVIET LUNAR ATTEMPT

USSR's unsuccessful lumpa 4the first slue? Aprilwas Apparently designed to soft-lanl t. instrumented package on tho noon. Information of tli" characteristics of the surface of the moon is important in tbe early designanned lunar landing mission. If the USSR Intends toan on tho uoon ahead of tbe US,missions similar toanuary attempt me overdue.

The lunar mission,Sputnik XXXIII. was launched from Tyuratam and placed inrbit around the earth, where itratia med because of ihe failure of tho fourtb stage to inject tbe pay-loadrajectory toward the moon. This final stage has been involved in six fall-urea out of eight attenpb* to launch interplanetary probes. The USSR did not announce the launching or the subsequent failure of the mission.

Tbe Identification, of this operationunar ratherlanetary mission is based on tho launch time, the

circularity of the orbit and its low altitude, and tbe fact that no planets were favorably located at tbe time. If the miaalon had been successful, tbe spacecraft flight tine would nave been aboutours, allowing: for arrival in tbeof the moon one daythe optimum conditlona for observation from the eartb. The landing would have occurredoint near tho lunaraboutegrees to tbe left of tho earth-moonr-'iwhere In the Ocoan of Storms TtiUi>. it appears almost certain that tbe Soviets attempted to soft-'and an instrumented pack-oro oi the moon,uitrir orbitmission cannot be <ampletely ruled out.

Neither photography of the far rule of the moon nor anclrcumlunar mission would bave been feasible with this launch time.

Tho neatanuarybe in earlytbe position ot tbeprovide similar

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