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This comment below this answer to How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation? links to the svengrahn.pp.se post Luna 3 - the first view of the moon's far side.

It shows the annotated image below of Luna-3. The image is a partial cut-away view, the lower half shows the external area and the upper half shows some of the internal components I believe.

The three rod antennas attached to the "bottom" are labeled "Pivoting antennas" and the two at the "top" are labeled "Ribbon antennas".

Question: How did Luna 3's pivoting antennas and ribbon antennas work? Why did some antennas need to pivot, and others need to be ribbons?


One of the origins of Luna-3 was the work by Boris Raushenbakh on attitude control started in 1955 in the NII-1 rocket research institute of the Ministry of Aviation. This work was co-ordinated with Korolev's design bureau and had as its goal stabilised photo-reconnaissance satellites. Raushenbakh's group was contracted by the lunar project section Korolev's design bureau OKB-1 to design the attitude control for the E-2 variant of lunar exploration craft intended to image the Moon's hidden side. The manager of the lunar probe project at OKB-1 was Gleb Maksimov. An excellent account of these early Soviet lunar missions can be found in (4) and (14). A cutaway sketch of the space probe with a Soviet-era translation of Russian captions added is shown below.

4Asif A. Siddiqi, "First to the Moon", Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol.51, pp.231-238, 1998.

14Timothy Varfolomeyev, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol.52, pp.157-160, 1999.

click for full size

Luna-3 from svengrahn.pp.se

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First, restore the original image captions. enter image description here

pivoting antennas - штыревые антенны - Whip antennas

ribbon antennas - ленточные антенны.

For what range of radio frequencies?

Частота передачи была равна 103 МГц, а частота приема — 183,6 МГц. Запасная система телеметрии работала на частоте 39,986 МГц. Космическая станция была оснащена шестью всенаправленными антеннами, четыре из которых выступали из верхней части, и две — из нижней. The transmission frequency was 103 MHz, and the receiving frequency was 183.6 MHz. The spare telemetry system worked at a frequency of 39.986 MHz. The space station was equipped with six omnidirectional antennas, four of which protruded from the top and two from the bottom.

Whip antennas - conventional whip antennas for VHF have a short length of about two meters.

But longer wavelengths require longer antennas. For 40 MHz - this is 7.5 meters. How to place such antennas on a rocket?

Ribbon antenna:

Ленточная антенна, выполнена в виде намотанной на барабан стальной ленты и снабженная механизмом механизмом для формирования при развертывании антенны полой трубки. The tape antenna is made in the form of a steel tape wound around a drum and equipped with a mechanism for creating a hollow tube when the antenna is deployed.

Videos that demonstrate this invention: Luna-1 at 8:42

Luna-9 at 7:48

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    $\begingroup$ This is excellent, thank you very much! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 20 at 23:10

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