Kosmos 4

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Kosmos 4
Mission type Reconnaissance
Harvard designation 1962 Xi 1
SATCAT no. 287
Mission duration 3 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Zenit-2
Manufacturer OKB-1
Launch mass 4,610 kilograms (10,160 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 26 April 1962, 10:02 (1962-04-26UTC10:02Z) UTC
Rocket Vostok-K
Launch site Baikonur 1/5
End of mission
Disposal Recovered
Landing date 29 April 1962 (1962-04-30)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 298 kilometres (185 mi)
Apogee 330 kilometres (210 mi)
Inclination 65 degrees
Period 90.8 minutes
Epoch 26 April 1962[1]

Kosmos 4 (Russian: Космос 4 meaning Cosmos 4), also known as Zenit-2 No.2 and occasionally in the West as Sputnik 14 was the first Soviet reconnaissance satellite to successfully reach orbit. It was the fourth satellite to be designated under the Kosmos system, and the second Soviet attempt to launch a reconnaissance satellite, the previous attempt having failed after one of the carrier rockets engines shut down prematurely.[2]

It was launched on a Vostok-K rocket, which was making its seventh flight.[3] It was the last Zenit launch to use the Vostok-K, before launches switched to the Vostok-2 starting with the next launch attempt in June 1962. The launch was conducted from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and occurred at 10:02 GMT on 26 April 1962.[4]

Kosmos 4 was placed into a low Earth orbit with a perigee of 285 kilometres (177 mi), an apogee of 317 kilometres (197 mi), 65 degrees of inclination, and an orbital period of 90.5 minutes.[2] It conducted a four-day mission, before being deorbited and landing by parachute on 29 April.[1] The spacecraft's orientation system failed, which resulted in only partial completion of the mission. It was to be followed by another satellite in May, however this was delayed to June, and then failed to reach orbit.

Kosmos 4 was a Zenit-2 satellite, a reconnaissance satellite derived from the Vostok spacecraft used for manned flights.[2] The next Zenit launch attempt failed, and the next launch after that successfully reached orbit as Kosmos 7.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wade, Mark. "Zenit-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "Soyuz". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2009-05-23.