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Kosmos 359
Kosmos 359 Mission to Venus

Mission Type: Lander
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with second-generation upper stage + escape stage; 8K78M
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome); NIIP-5 / launch site 31
Spacecraft Mass: c. 1,200 kg
Spacecraft Instruments:
Bus: 1) solar wind detector 2) cosmic-ray detector Lander: 1) resistance thermometer 2) aneroid barometer
References:
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.


This was the second of a pair of probes designed to land on Venus and transmit information back to Earth. In this case, after the spacecraft reached Earth orbit, the main engine of the Blok L upper stage was late in igniting and cut off early (after only 25 seconds) due to incorrect operation of a sequencer and a failure in the power-supply system's DC transformer.

The payload remained stranded in orbit, eventually reentering Earth's atmosphere on 6 November 1970. The spacecraft was named Kosmos 359 by the Soviet press to disguise the failure.


Key Dates
22 Aug 1970:  Launch
6 Nov 1970:  End of Venus Mission
Status: Unsuccessful
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Last Updated: 6 Dec 2010