Zond 7

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Zond 7
Zond L1 drawing.png
Zond 7
NamesSoyuz 7K-L1 s/n 11
Mission typeLunar flyby
Spacecraft test
OperatorOKB-1
COSPAR ID1969-067A
SATCAT no.04062
Mission duration7 days (launch day to landing day)
Spacecraft properties
BusSoyuz 7K-L1
ManufacturerOKB-1
Launch mass5,979 kilograms (13,181 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date7 August 1969, 23:48:06 UTC
RocketProton-K D
Launch siteBaikonur 81/23
End of mission
DisposalSoft landing and recovery
Recovered bySoviet Union
Landing dateAugust 14, 1969 (1969-08-14)
Landing sitesouth of Kustanai, Kazakhstan, USSR
Flyby of Moon
Closest approachAugust 11, 1969
Distance1,984.6 km (1,233.2 mi)
← Zond 6
Zond 8 →
 

Zond 7, a formal member of the Soviet Zond program and unmanned version of Soyuz 7K-L1 manned moon-flyby spacecraft, the first truly successful test of L1, was launched towards the Moon from a mother spacecraft (69-067B) on a mission of further studies of the Moon and circumlunar space, to obtain color photography of Earth and the Moon from varying distances, and to flight test the spacecraft systems. Earth photos were obtained on August 9, 1969. On August 11, 1969, the spacecraft flew past the Moon at a distance of 1984.6 km and conducted two picture taking sessions. Zond 7 reentered Earth's atmosphere on August 14, 1969, and achieved a soft landing in a preset region south of Kustanai, Kazakhstan.

Like other Zond circumlunar craft, Zond 7 used a relatively uncommon technique called skip reentry to shed velocity upon returning to Earth. Of all circumlunar Zond craft launches, Zond 7 would have been the first to make a safe flight for a crew had it been manned.

The return capsule is on display at the Orevo Facility of Bauman University in Dmitrov, Russia.

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Preceded by
Zond 6
Zond program (circumlunar) Succeeded by
Zond 8