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.