A total of 29 pictures were taken, covering 70% of the far side. After the photography was complete the spacecraft resumed spinning, passed over the north pole of the Moon and returned towards the Earth. Attempts to transmit the pictures to the Soviet Union began on October 8 but the early attempts were unsuccessful due to the low signal strength. As Luna 3 drew closer to the Earth, a total of about 17 viewable but poor quality photographs were transmitted by 18 October. All contact with the probe was lost on 22 October 1959. The space probe was believed to have burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere in March or April 1960. Another possibility was that it might have survived in orbit until 1962 or later.