In 1959 the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 was the first to record images of the far side of the Moon. The images were of poor quality compared to later efforts but still generated excitement around the world at a view never previously seen by human eyes.
Twenty-nine photos were taken by a specially designed AFA-E1 camera and immediately transmitted back to earth. The images were later published in an atlas by the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1960, and revealed a landscape quite different from the near side facing earth. The surface was far more pock-marked, with chains of craters, hundreds of kilometers wide and without the maria (plains) so common on the near side.
Source: Universe Today
- 1959-10-07 Far side of Moon seen for the 1st time, courtesy of USSR's Luna 3 space probe
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