Zond 4

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Zond 4 (Soyuz 7K-L1)
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Zond 4 (Soyuz 7K-L1)

Zond 4, a member of the Soviet Zond program, was a short flight that was one of the first Soviet experiments towards manned spaceflight. It was designed to test the space-worthiness of the new capsule and to gather data about flights in circumterrestrial space. It was deliberately launched away from the moon to avoid trajectory complications from its gravitational pull.

After launching on March 2, 1968, it reached 300,000 km before coming back down. Operators attempted to bring it in with a skip reentry, but they made the angle too steep and it ended up plunging into the atmosphere early over West Africa. Ground control set off the self-destruct mechanism over the Gulf of Guinea at an altitude of 10 km.

External References

NASA (NSSDC) information on Zond 4 (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1968-013A)

Previous mission:
Zond 3
Zond program Next mission:
Zond 5
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