After an aborted launch on 9 September, the Ye-1A probe successfully lifted off and reached escape velocity three days later. Officially named the Second Soviet Cosmic Rocket, the spacecraft released its one kilogram of natrium on 12 September at a distance of 156,000 kilometers from Earth in a cloud that expanded out to 650 kilometers in diameter and was clearly visible from the ground.
Fortunately, this sixth attempt at lunar impact was much more accurate than its predecessors. The spacecraft successfully reached the surface of the Moon at 23:02:23 UT on 14 September 1959, thus becoming the first object of human origin to make contact with another celestial body. The probes impact point was approximately at 30 degrees north latitude and 0 degrees longitude on the slope of the Autolycus crater, east of Mare Serenitatis.
Luna 2 (as it was called after 1963) deposited Soviet emblems on the lunar surface carried in 9 x 15-centimeter metallic spheres. The spacecrafts magnetometer measured no significant lunar magnetic field as close as 55 kilometers to the lunar surface. The radiation detectors also found no hint of a radiation belt.