Kosmos 138


Kosmos 138
Mission typeOptical imaging reconnaissance
COSPAR ID1967-004A
SATCAT no.02646
Mission duration8 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeZenit-2
Launch mass4730 kg [1]
Start of mission
Launch date19 January 1967
12:39:59 GMT
RocketVostok-2 s/n N15001-05
Launch sitePlesetsk, Site 41/1
End of mission
Landing date27 January 1967
06:14 GMT
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric[2]
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude191 km
Apogee altitude273 km
Period89.2 minutes
Epoch19 January 1967

Kosmos 138 (Russian: Космос 138 meaning Cosmos 138) or Zenit-2 No.43 was a Soviet, first generation, low resolution, optical film-return reconnaissance satellite launched in 1967. A Zenit-2 spacecraft, Kosmos 138 was the forty-fifth of eighty-one such satellites to be launched[3][4] and had a mass of 4,730 kilograms (10,430 lb).

Kosmos 138 was launched by a Vostok-2 rocket, serial number N15001-05,[5] flying from Site 41/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The launch took place at 12:39:59 GMT on 19 January 1967,[6] and following its arrival in orbit the spacecraft received its Kosmos designation; along with the International Designator 1967-004A and the Satellite Catalog Number 02646.[1] The satellite reached a slightly lower orbit than had been planned, but was still able to complete its mission.[7]

Kosmos 138 was operated in a low Earth orbit, at an epoch of 19 January 1967, it had a perigee of 191 kilometres (119 mi), an apogee of 273 kilometres (170 mi), an inclination of 65.0°, and an orbital period of 89.2 minutes.[2] After 8 days in orbit, Kosmos 138 was deorbited, with its return capsule descending under parachute, landing at 06:14 GMT on 27 January 1967, and recovered by Soviet force.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Cosmos 138: Display 1967-004A". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. NASA. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b "Cosmos 138: Trajectory 1967-004A". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. NASA. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Zenit-2 (11F61)". Gunter's Space Page. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "Zenit-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  5. ^ Wade, Mark. "Vostok 8A92". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  6. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b Christie, Robert. "Zenit Satellites - Zenit-2 variant". Zarya.info. Retrieved 22 January 2014.