The automatic station was developed on the basis of the Luna-12 automatic station for the purpose of testing and exercising the new DRK radio frequency system in real space conditions. The DRK radio frequency system was intended for subsequent installation on the next generation of automatic stations, as well as on lunar manned L1 and L3 spacecraft. It was also supposed to test new ground-based Saturn-MS radio system with the help of this station. The tests were conducted in two stages: the first phase involved injection of the spacecraft into circumterrestrial elliptical orbit (Cosmos-159). In the second phase tests were done with the spacecraft launched into the selenocentric orbit (Luna-14). The first phase was completed with launching of Cosmos- 159 into the geocentric orbit.
In addition to testing the new radio system and the Earth-Spacecraft and Spacecraft-Earth communication channels at the second phase, it was also planned to practice a procedure of injection of the artificial lunar satellite into the selenocentric orbit with inclinations of ~45 degrees and ~0° (the orbit close to equatorial), to determine characteristics of the gravitational field of the Moon according to the evolution of the orbit, to test various materials in friction pairs for performance in space conditions.
By design and composition of service systems, the Luna-14 automatic station was similar to Cosmos-159. In order to determine the position of the spacecraft when the stellar-orientation system is off, the station was provided with a solar sensor.
Scientific instruments and experimental units were installed onboard to perform research activities of the Moon and near-lunar space.