1966: On 3 February 1966, the unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft landed safely on the Moon. It was the first ever soft landing on another celestial body.
It opened the way for manned trips to the Moon, by removing doubts that the surface was unsafe quicksand.
On landing, the probe ejected a capsule which then rolled upright and unfolded four spring actuated petals to steady itself. A TV camera with a revolving mirror system enabled Luna 9 to take pictures, including panoramic views of the lunar landscape and closer views of nearby rocks. These were transmitted back to Earth until 6 February when the batteries ran out and contact with the spacecraft was lost.