The other side of the race to the moon

After watching From the Earth to the Moon and In the Shadow of the Moon, I wondered whatever happened to the threat of a “red moon” that so motivated the US to land on the moon before 1970. Turns out the Soviet lunar program was very real. It never achieved real success largely due to interpersonal rivalries and bureaucratic territoriality, and was canceled as the Soviets lost interest in the program after Khrushchev (Хрущев) was ousted in 1964.

Update 2008-01-03: Red Moon Rising by Matthew Brzezinski is about the Soviet space program. Read the first chapter here.

Update 2008-01-18: Air & Space has some more lunar landers that never were.