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History of Space Exploration Zond 6

Zond 6

Courtesy of NASA's National Space Science Data Center

Launch Date: 1968-11-10
Launch Site/Country: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R.
Launch Vehicle: Proton Booster Plus Upper Stage and Escape Stages
On-orbit dry mass: 5375.00 kg. (11,825 lb.)


Zond 6 was launched on a lunar flyby mission from a parent satellite in Earth parking orbit. The spacecraft, which carried scientific probes including cosmic-ray and micrometeoroid detectors, photography equipment, and a biological payload, was a precursor to manned spaceflight. Zond 6 flew around the Moon on November 14, 1968, at a minimum distance of 2,420 kilometers (1,504 miles).

Photographs of the lunar near and farside were obtained with panchromatic film. This experiment had the purpose of photographing the lunar surface, especially areas missed by earlier missions, and to overlap with better photography those areas that had been previously covered. Each photo was 12.70 by 17.78 centimeters (5 by 7 inches). Some of the views allowed for stereo pictures. The photos were taken from distances of approximately 11,000 kilometers (6,835 miles) and 3,300 kilometers (2,050 miles). Controlled reentry of the spacecraft occurred on November 17, 1968, and Zond 6 landed in a predetermined region of the Soviet Union.

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