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Kosmos 159
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Kosmos 159
Kosmos 159 Mission to Our Solar System Kosmos 159 Mission to Earth's Moon

Goals: This spacecraft was designed to go into a highly elliptical orbit around Earth so mission planners could develop trajectory-measurement techniques that could be employed on future lunar-orbiter missions.

Accomplishments: Plans for an orbit that would have been 250,000 km from Earth at its furthest were dashed by the premature cutoff of the upper-stage rocket. But even with an orbit measuring 60,710 by 260 km, it is likely that Soviet engineers gathered much of the data they sought.


Key Dates
16 May 1967:  Launch
11 Nov 1967:  Re-Entered Earth's Atmosphere
Status: Partial Success
Fast Facts
Kosmos 159 Facts Although this mission wasn't sent to the Moon, it was intended to pave the way for more ambitious lunar missions.

Mission controllers likely gain valuable insight into deep space flight despite the fact the spacecraft did not achieve its intended orbit.

The Soviets used the Kosmos designation for Earth-orbiting spacecraft - including deep space probes that failed to escape Earth's gravity.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010