Mission Type: Lander
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) 8K78 (no. T15000-23)
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R., NIIP-5 / launch site 1
Spacecraft Mass: 948 kg
Bus: 1) radiation detector; 2) charged-particle detector; 3) magnetometer; 4) piezoelectric detector and 5) atomic hydrogen detector
Lander:1) barometer; 2) thermometer; 3) radiation detector; 4) micro-organism detection experiment; 5) atmospheric composition experiment; 6) acidity measurement experiment; 7) electro-conductivity experiment and 8) luminosity experiment
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/
Although this Venus impact probe was successfully sent toward Venus, ground controllers discovered a series of major malfunctions in the spacecraft during its coast to the planet. These included depressurization of the main spacecraft bus when the glass cover of a solar-stellar attitude-control sensor cracked. Additionally, the internal radio transmitters of the spacecraft were automatically switched on at the wrong time -- during depressurization, when the gas discharge created high-voltage currents that shorted out the system.
Contact was maintained with the still-pressurized 290-kilogram lander module until 25 May 1964, by which time controllers had managed to conduct two major course corrections (at 560,000 kilometers and 13 to 14 million kilometers from Earth, respectively), the first time such actions had been performed on a Soviet interplanetary spacecraft.
The inert spacecraft eventually flew by Venus on 19 July 1964 at a range of 110,000 kilometers. The Soviets later published some data on cosmic-ray flux measured by Zond 1.