SOVIET AUTOMATIC PROBE LUNA-24 SCALE MODEL WITH THE LUNAR SOIL SAMPLES CONTAINER - GIFT TO LEONID BREZHNEV

The unique item represented here for sale is the scale model of the Soviet automatic lunar lander probe Luna-24 with the metal container holding three tiny lunar soil samples retrieved by this last successfull Soviet lunar probe. These three particles were returned to the Earth together with the the portion of 170 grams of the lunar soil what was drilled out in August 1976 near "Mare Crisium" from the depth of 2 meters. Luna-24 was the last probe launched by the USSR to the Moon, and it was the last probe what made soft landing on the Moon.

Model description.
The scale model of Luna-24 is standing on a proper hemispheric base representing lunar surface. The model is made of chromium-plated metal, very precisely and detailed. The metal engraved nameplate is attached to the base in the corner, beside the model. There is a metal cylindric container attached to the base in another corner. The engraving on the container says "Luna-24. Soil particles." The container has removable metal cover with the magnifying glass at the top. The three lunar soil samples are placed in the container under the cover, so, viewers can see them enlarged through the magnifying glass.

Item provenance.
The model was presented to the Soviet leader Leonid BREZHNEV in 1976 as the gift for his 70-s birthday and has the nameplate with dedicatory inscription saying: "To dear Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev from the collective of Obschemash. Dec 19, 1976".
"Obschemash" is the Russian abbriviation of the Ministry of General Machine Building what actually ruled the whole space industry in the USSR, and was widely supported by Brezhnev. He leaded this Ministry and supervised all the space industry in the former USSR before he became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR after Hruschev.
After Brezhnev's death in 1982 most of the memorable presents and private things of the "General Secretary" were solicitously kept by his widow Victoriya P. Brezhneva. After her death in 1995 a big number of private things, souvenirs and memorable presents were passed into the property of Brezhnev's daughter Galina. One year before her death Galina Brezhneva sold out this unique Luna-24 model together with some other items of the family heritage. The model was purchased by one of the members of space rarities collector's club in Russia whose name is not for disclosure.

Proof of genuineness.
The scale model of Luna-24 with the lunar soil samples container comes with the valuable COA in Russian language from the Institute of Geochemestry and Analytic Chemistry (signed by Dr. A.Ivanov), Moscow, Russia. It's from the same Institude what researched Luna-24 soil after retrieving from the Moon. The COA confirms the lunar soil genuineness.

SIZE - about 12x12x10".

CONDITION - excellent (please see the pictures).

  Made in USSR as a valuable gift to country leaders and for space museums.

What is included:

  • The scale model of Luna-24 on the stand with the metal container with three tiny lunar soil samples.
  • The COA in Russian language from the Institute of Geochemestry and Analytic Chemistry n.a. Vernadsky (signed by Dr. A.Ivanov), Moscow, Russia.

    Please take a look through the pictures below.


  • Luna-24 model. General view #1.


    Luna-24 model. General view #2.


    Luna-24 model. General view #3.


    Luna-24 model. General view #4.


    Luna-24 model. General view #5.


    Luna-24 model. General view #6.



    Lunar soil container. Close-up view.


    Lunar soil container. Uncovered.


    Three tiny samples of lunar soil.


    Metal nameplate with dedicatory inscription to Brezhnev.


    The COA in Russian from Moscow Institute of Geochemestry and Analytic Chemistry n.a. Vernadsky
    (signed by Dr. A.Ivanov).Translation.


    Historical reference.
    Luna 24 was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna program. The last of the Luna series of spacecraft, the mission of the Luna 24 probe was the third Soviet mission to retrieve lunar soil samples from the Earth's moon (the first two sample return missions were Luna 16 and Luna 20). The spacecraft orbital dry mass was 4,800 kg (11,000 lb).
    The probe landed in the area known as Mare Crisium (Sea of Crisis). The mission returned 170.1 grams of lunar samples to the Earth on 22 August 1976.
    Luna 24 was the third attempt to recover a sample from the unexplored Mare Crisium, the location of a large lunar mascon (after Luna 23 and a launch failure in October 1975). After a trajectory correction on 11 August 1976, Luna 24 entered lunar orbit three days later. Initial orbital parameters were 115 kilometres at 120 inclination. After further changes to its orbit, Luna 24 set down safely on the lunar surface at 06:36 UT on 18 August 1976 at 1245' north latitude and 6212' east longitude, not far from where Luna 23 had landed.
    Under command from ground control, the lander deployed its sample arm and pushed its drilling head about 2 metres into the nearby soil. The sample was safely stowed in the small return capsule, and after nearly a day on the Moon, Luna 24 lifted off successfully at 05:25 UT on 19 August 1976. After an uneventful return trip, Luna 24's capsule entered Earth's atmosphere and parachuted safely to land at 17:55 UT on 22 August 1976, about 200 kilometres southeast of Surgut in western Siberia. Study of the recovered 170.1 grams of soil indicated a laminated type structure, as if laid down in successive deposits. The Soviet Union swapped a gram of the mission sample for a lunar sample from NASA in December 1976.
    Luna 24 was the last lunar spacecraft to be launched by the Soviet Union. As of 2012, it is also the last spacecraft from any country to have made a soft landing on the Moon.
  • Launch Vehicle: Proton (four stage version)
  • Launching Technique: Low orbit around Earth, translunar trajectory, then lunar orbit followed by landing;
  • Mass: 1,900 kilogrammes on lunar surface;
  • Length: 2.3 metres;
  • Maximum Diameter: 3.3 metres (including landing legs).
    Boring 2.25 meters into the Moon, it obtained a 170.1 gram core sample 1.6 meters in length. The drilling apparatus packed the sample into a 8mm diameter plastic tube, which was wound into a helical container. At the Vernadsky Institute, the core was initially transfered to a flat spiral container to be x-rayed, then transfered to a series of trays. Luna-24 did not carry cycloramic cameras. Photos of the returned sample from Moscow Institute of Geochemestry and Analytic Chemistry n.a. Vernadsky are shown below:
  • 8 mm plastic tube with the soil wound into a helical container of Luna-24.

    Flat spiral container.

    Series of trays with the lunar soil.



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