Is Zond 5 Designed for Planetary Missions as well as Lunar?

by Merton E. Davies, Bruce Murray

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A presentation of some evidence to support the view that Zond 5 is a precursor of unmanned, planetary missions of much greater capability than previously believed possible. Statements and drawings appearing in [Red Star] and [Pravda] suggest that: (1) the Soviets may intend to launch such a system at the coming Mars opportunity in early 1969; (2) Zond 5 may have a recoverable film system; (3) two Zond 5 class systems may be launched, one a survivable lander system, possibly with a relay satellite, and the other a flyby-and-return system with film recovery; and (4) the Zond 5 recovery technique may be a significant step in the development of an unmanned sample return system. 3 pp.

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