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Kosmos 300
Kosmos 300 Mission to Earth's Moon

Launch Vehicle: Proton booster plus upper stage and escape stages, 8K82K + Blok D (Proton no. 244-01)
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), USSR, NIIP-5 / launch site 81P
Spacecraft Mass: c. 5,700 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) stereo imaging system; 2) remote arm for sample collection; and 3) radiation detector
Spacecraft Dimensions: Four spherical fuel tanks and nozzles, thrusters, and landing legs set in a 4-meter-wide base.
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,

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

This was the third attempt to send a sample-return spacecraft to the Moon (after failures in June and July 1969). On this attempt, the spacecraft successfully reached Earth orbit but failed to inject itself on a translunar trajectory.

Later investigation indicated that the Blok D upper stage had failed to fire a second time for translunar injection because of a problem with a fuel-injection valve that had become stuck during the first firing of the Blok D (for Earth orbital insertion). As a result, all the liquid oxygen in the Blok D was depleted. The Soviet press named the vehicle Kosmos 300 without alluding to its lunar goal. The payload's orbit decayed about four days after launch.

Key Dates
23 Sep 1969:  Launch
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Kosmos 300 Facts Two previous Soviet efforts in the summer of 1969 also failed to collect samples from the Moon.

An investigation found a stuck fuel-injection valve marooned the spacecraft in Earth orbit.

The Soviets referred gave the spacecraft a Kosmos designation, which implied it was meant to remain in Earth orbit instead of going to the Moon.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010