Launch Date Aug. 22, 1970
Launch Site Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia
Destination Venus
Type Lander
Status Unsuccessful
Nation Soviet Union
Alternate Names 1970-065A, 04501, Unnamed Venera

Goals

This twin of Venera 7 was supposed to achieve the same goal: operate and transmit data after landing on Venus.

Accomplishments

None. The spacecraft entered Earth orbit, but the rocket engine that was supposed to launch it from there to Venus malfunctioned, leaving it stranded in Earth orbit.

Key Dates

Aug. 22, 1970: Launch

In Depth

This was the second of a pair of probes designed to land on Venus and transmit information back to Earth. In this case, after the spacecraft reached Earth orbit, the main engine of the Blok L upper stage was late in igniting and cut off early (after only 25 seconds) due to incorrect operation of a sequencer and a failure in the power-supply system's DC transformer.

The payload remained stranded in orbit, eventually reentering Earth's atmosphere on 6 November 1970. The spacecraft was named Kosmos 359 by the Soviet press to disguise the failure.

Spacecraft

Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with second-generation upper stage + escape stage; 8K78M

Spacecraft Mass: c. 1,200 kg

Spacecraft Instruments:

Bus:

  1. solar wind detector
  2. cosmic-ray detector

Lander:

  1. resistance thermometer
  2. aneroid barometer

Additional Resources

National Space Science Data Center Master Catalog: Kosmos 359

Selected References

Siddiqi, Asif A. Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, NASA, 2002.

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