Zond 5

Courtesy of NASA's National Space Science Data Center


Launch Date: 1968-09-14
Launch Site/Country: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R.
Launch Vehicle: Proton Booster Plus Upper Stage and Escape Stages
On-orbit dry mass: 5,375.00 kg. (11,825 lb.)


Zond 5 was launched from a Tyazheliy Sputnik in Earth parking orbit to make scientific probes during a lunar flyby and to return to Earth. On September 18, 1968, the spacecraft flew around the Moon. The closest distance was 1,950 kilometers (1,212 miles). High-quality photographs of the Earth were taken at a distance of 90,000 kilometers (56,000 miles). A biological payload of turtles, wine flies, meal worms, plants, seeds, bacteria, and other living matter was included in the flight. On September 21, 1968, the re-entry capsule entered the Earth's atmosphere, braked aerodynamically, and deployed parachutes at 7 kilometers (4.35 miles) . The capsule splashed down in the Indian Ocean and was successfully recovered. The spacecraft was a precursor to manned spacecraft.


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