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Soviets used 'U.S. lunar photos' to plan own Moon mission

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Soviet Union used U.S. photos of the Moon obtained by the secret service to plan its own lunar mission, a Russian space scientist told RIA Novosti on Monday.

The race between the two superpowers to reach the surface of the Moon first was in full swing when Alexander Bazilevsky began work at the Lunar geology department of the Soviet space studies institute in Moscow.

"We had to study photos of the surface of the Moon in define and select spots for the landing of a Soviet manned expedition," Bazilevsky said.

However, the Soviet images available were not of sufficient quality and the heads of the department asked the intelligence services to supply American high-resolution lunar photos.

"We weren't told if the photos had been bought or obtained in some other manner. But that didn't worry us - what was important was that we had something to work with," Bazilevsky said.

The U.S. won the space race, landing on the Moon in July 1969.

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