Kosmos 4

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Kosmos 4
Mission typeReconnaissance
Harvard designation1962 Xi 1
COSPAR ID1962-014A
SATCAT no.287
Mission duration3 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeZenit-2
Launch mass4,610 kilograms (10,160 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date26 April 1962, 10:02 (1962-04-26UTC10:02Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5
End of mission
Landing date29 April 1962 (1962-04-30)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude298 kilometres (185 mi)
Apogee altitude330 kilometres (210 mi)
Inclination65 degrees
Period90.8 minutes
Epoch26 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.

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, scheduled for May but delayed to June, failed to reach orbit, but the next launch 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. Archived from the original on 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2009-05-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)