Science: The Moon's Far Side

Just before midnight, Soviet TV viewers sat up and paid rapt attention. On the screen flashed the first pictures men had ever seen of the moon's hidden face. The Soviet's Lunik III had performed just as Russian space scientists predicted, in a display of engineering virtuosity that was the greatest achievement yet in man's exploration of space.

Next day the Russians released a picture of Lunik III and a fairly detailed explanation of how it took its epoch-making pictures. Lunik III, a notably sophisticated mechanism, proved to be a top-shaped 614-lb. object incrusted...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!