|Launch Date||September 1, 1962|
|Launch Site||Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia | Launch Site 1|
|Alternate Names||Sputnik 20, 1962 Alpha Tau 1, Sputnik 24 (USNSC), 00381, 1962-043A|
Travel through Venus’ atmosphere and study the planet en route to a surface impact.
None. A malfunction stranded the spacecraft in Earth orbit and it burned up in the atmosphere about five days after launch.
Sept. 1, 1962: Launch
This was the second of three Venus spacecraft launched by the Soviets in 1962.
Like its predecessor launched in August 1962 (also a Venus impact probe), the spacecraft never left parking orbit around Earth because of a malfunction in the Blok L upper stage designed to send the probe out of Earth orbit toward Venus.
Evidently, the valve that controlled the delivery of fuel into the combustion chamber of the Blok L engine (the S1.5400) never opened. As a result, the engine never fired. The payload decayed within five days of launch.
Launch Vehicle: 8K78 (no. T103-13)
Spacecraft Mass: c. 1,100 kg
Siddiqi, Asif A. Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, NASA, 2002.