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Kosmos 21
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Kosmos 21
Kosmos 21 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: Although this spacecraft was similar on the spacecraft the Soviet Union was sending to Mars and Venus, this mission was designated as a lunar flyby to verify various technologies.

Accomplishments: None. The spacecraft reached Earth orbit, but was most likely destroyed when the final stage designed to send it to the Moon exploded.

Key Dates
11 Nov 1963:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Kosmos 21 Facts Beginning in 1963, the name Kosmos was given to Soviet spacecraft which remained in Earth orbit, regardless of whether that was their intended final destination. This was the first mission to get that designation.

Typically Soviet planetary missions were initially put into an Earth parking orbit as a launch platform with a rocket engine and attached probe.

If the engine misfired or the burn was not completed, the probes would be left in Earth orbit and given a Kosmos designation.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010