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Zond 5

1968 Soviet spaceflight to circle the Moon, first lunar mission to carry animals / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zond 5 (Russian: Зонд 5, lit.'Probe 5') was a spacecraft of the Soviet Zond program. In September 1968 it became the first spaceship to travel to and circle the Moon, the first Moon mission to include animals, and the first to return safely to Earth. Zond 5 carried the first terrestrial organisms to the vicinity of the Moon, including two tortoises, fruit fly eggs, and plants.[4] The tortoises underwent biological changes during the flight, but it was concluded that the changes were primarily due to starvation and that they were little affected by space travel.

Quick facts: Names, Mission type, Operator, COSPAR ID, SAT...
Zond 5
Computer model of a Zond circumlunar spacecraft
NamesSoyuz 7K-L1 s/n 9
Mission type
  • Lunar flyby
  • Spacecraft test
COSPAR ID1968-076A[1]
SATCAT no.3394[1]
Mission duration6 days, 18 hours, 24 minutes
Spacecraft properties
BusSoyuz 7K-L1
Launch mass5,375 kilograms (11,850 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date14 September 1968, 21:42 (1968-09-14UTC21:42Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 81
End of mission
Recovered bySoviet vessels Borovichy and Vasiliy Golovin
Landing date21 September 1968 (1968-09-21) 16:08 UT[2]
Landing site
  • 32°38′S 65°33′E[3]
  • In the Indian Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis6,613 kilometres (4,109 mi)
Perigee altitude202 kilometres (126 mi)
Apogee altitude282 kilometres (175 mi)
Period89.29 minutes
Epoch13 September 1968
Flyby of Moon
Closest approach18 September 1968
Distance1,950 km (1,210 mi)

The Zond spacecraft was a version of the Soyuz 7K-L1 crewed lunar-flyby spacecraft. It was launched by a Proton-K carrier rocket with a Block D upper-stage to conduct scientific studies during its lunar flyby.