By the time President J. F. Kennedy announced that the United States would be the first nation to put a man on the moon, Russian scientists were already years ahead, having landed the probe Luna 2 on the surface of the Moon in 1959 and boasted an orbiting satellite in 1966.
But due to politics, scientific and financial reasons within a space agency with split priorities that was not single-mindedly dedicated to this goal, topped with rockets that had the tendency to destroy themselves -- and their payload -- the Soviet lunar program was, after failing to put a man on the moon, covered up and forgotten.
These rare photos from a lab inside the Moscow Aviation Institute show a junkyard of rarely-seen spacecraft, including a never-to-be-used Russian lunar lander.
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