Accession Number:

AD0633070

Title:

THE SOVIET PLANETARY MISSIONS,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

OPERATIONAL RESEARCH BRANCH AIR DEFENCE COMMAND OTTAWA (ONTARIO)

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1966-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

26.0

Abstract:

Release of information by the Soviets regarding spacecraft design and intended mission profiles of their Venus 2 and 3 flights makes it possible to discern a consistent pattern in their very large planetary exploration effort. 1 As has been the case with their lunar exploration efforts, the Soviets have placed very great emphasis on an early planetary impact with or without return of significant scientific information. 2 They have utilized a standardized flyby bus spacecraft for all planetary attempts since 1962. This vehicle, can substitute a small spherical entry capsule in place of the camera compartment. The capsule is delivered by a bus-deflection maneuver. 3 They evidently have attempted to deploy at least one flyby camera spacecraft and one flyby capsule spacecraft at each Mars and Venus launch window since 1962. 4 None of the flyby attempts has successfully returned data from the planetary encounter. However, failure of the Venus 3 spacecraft system occurred after midcourse correction but before the terminal bus-deflection maneuver. As a result, the unsterilized flyby bus impacted the planet. The same circumstances may have caused Zond 1 to impact Venus and Zond 2 to impact Mars. Soviet spacecraft engineering and operation differ greatly from United States practice, which suggests that there has been little transfer of technology between the two programs so far. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Astronautics
  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE