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"Image of the Century", champagne and the "dark side" of the United States


" Image of the Century "

champagne :

and the "dark side" of the United States

On 4 October 1959, the Soviet Union achieved the first scientific achievement of its kind, taking the "Luna-3" probe the first three images of the dark side of the moon.

Since the dawn of astronomy, the Moon has always been a mystery, completely unaware of what exists in its dark side, leading to the emergence of many myths.

The dark side of the moon:

  • The gravitational forces over billions of years are equal to
  • the time periods during which the Moon takes a full cycle
  • around its axis and a full cycle around the Earth.

So we always see our nearest celestial body only unilaterally.

This dark side of the Moon has long become the focus of great attention not only

by scientists, specialists, but also sci-fi writers and those interested.

For example :

the famous Polish writer and director André Zolavsky at the beginning of

the twentieth century described in the novel "On the Silver Planet"

the dark side of

  • the Moon as a terrain teeming with different wildlife
  • and the imagination went some way away and assumed

The bizarre theories of

the dark moon side were so many that

the renowned French winemaker Henry Mayor promised an award of

a thousand bottles of luxury champagne for those

who portray this dark moon side

and such a task was of course thought impossible!

The race in space was most intense between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1950s and increased with the Soviet success in sending the first satellite into orbit in 1957.

The dark side of the United States

Indeed :

the conduct of the race between the two great Powers of that era

especially in space, is often governed by unfair rules.

The anonymous aspect of

the issue is that the Soviet Union emerged from the Nazi invasion period of

World War II exhausted and severely drained in all areas

And yet it has achieved great scientific

achievements in space

and surpassed the United States by strides

Although it did not suffer the scourge of war on its territory

  • it also strengthened its economy
  • which was operating at its fullest potential

The Soviet probe "Luna-3" has been a project being developed

by the Korolyov Design Office since 1958

and its first phase was to get the probe into lunar orbit.

After two attempts

Soviet scientists succeeded in achieving

a historic breakthrough, and the "Luna-3" probe reached its goal.

The second stage of that lunar mission is to take pictures of

the dark side of the moon and send images to Earth.

In calculating the itinerary of

the "E-2A" probe, also known as "Luna-3"

Soviet scientists used the "gravitational principle"

for the first time

and by exploiting the gravitational force of the moon

they were able to guide the probe to the right direction

as well as to receive

and send signals from a center atop Mount Kushka in Crimea.

The Soviet probe

was equipped with a camera equipped with a special film that

is resistant to cosmic rays and high temperatures

and was able to read the photocell of the image

stabilize the white

and black areas and turn all details into electrical pulses

and after sending pulses to the receiving station

a reverse process

is carried out by turning pulses into dark and light spots.

The process was successfully completed and the first images of

the dark side of a moon arrived on Earth on 4 October 1959

immediately called "Images of the Century"

and the first ever images of the dark side of

the moon were quickly circulated by newspapers around the world.

What did those pictures show?

Those first images showed that the bright and dark sides of

the Moon were not the same and their terrain quite different.

The dark side of

the Moon is characterized by very mountainous terrain

with only "two seas" and many small "lakes"

which are

the nomenclature of dark spots on the Moon

  • and of course not seas or real lakes, but huge cavities
  • with large numbers on the side of the illuminated Moon
  • while the dark side accounts for less than 1% of the total area.

Astronomers counted 21 "seas" on the surface of

the visible side of the Moon, which together with "lakes"

constituted more than 30% of its surface area, and the rest of

the luminous Moon side areas were mostly flat, although mountain chains existed.

By the way :

French winemaker Henri Mayor fulfilled the promise he made

visited the Soviet Union Embassy in France

and delivered thousands of

luxury champagne bottles to be transported to the Korolyov Design Office

one of which is still preserved at the Moscow Astronaut Museum.