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Kosmos 96
Kosmos 96 Mission to Venus

Goals: This spacecraft was most likely designed to crash land on Venus and was similar to Venera 3, which launched a week earlier.

Accomplishments: None. An explosion after launch stranded the Venus-bound spacecraft in Earth orbit. It remained in orbit for 16 days and reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 9 December 1965.


Key Dates
9 Dec 1965:  Burned up in Earth's Atmosphere
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
Kosmos 96 Facts There is some speculation that the reentry of the Kosmos 96/Venera-type spacecraft was responsible for a fireball which was seen over southwestern Ontario, Canada and at least eight states from Michigan to New York at 4:43 p.m. EST on 9 December 1965.

But uncertainties in the orbital information and re-entry coordinates and time make it difficult to determine definitively if the fireball could have been Kosmos 96.

Beginning in 1962, the name Kosmos was given to Soviet spacecraft which remained in Earth orbit, regardless of whether that was their intended final destination.
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Last Updated: 29 Nov 2010