Kosmos 159

Summary

Kosmos 159
Mission typeUncrewed lunar spacecraft
OperatorGSMZ Lavochkin
COSPAR ID1967-046A
SATCAT no.02805
Mission duration179 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeE-6LS
ManufacturerGSMZ Lavochkin
Launch mass1640 kg [1]
Dry mass1136 kg
Start of mission
Launch date16 May 1967, 21:43:57 GMT
RocketMolniya-M s/n N15001-58
Launch siteBaikonur, Site 1/5
ContractorTsSKB-Progress
End of mission
Decay date11 November 1967
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric [2]
RegimeElliptic Earth
Perigee altitude350 km
Apogee altitude60637 km
Inclination51.8°
Period1174.0 minutes
Epoch16 May 1967
 

Kosmos 159 (Russian: Космос 159, meaning Cosmos 159), E-6LS No.111, was one of many satellites designed during the Soviet space program given the designation Kosmos. This satellite was specifically designed to be a high orbit satellite used to gain information on trajectory anomalies caused by the Moon's gravitational pull. This data would have been vital to the Soviet space program and could have been key in successful manned missions to the Moon. This mission was also used to test radio communications in space.[3]

Spacecraft

Kosmos 159 was a one-off high apogee Earth satellite developed to acquire data on new telecommunications systems for upcoming crewed missions to the Moon. Besides a usual complement of telemetry and communications equipment, the vehicle also carried a transceiver as part of the long-range communications system (Dal'nyy radiokompleks, DRK) and the BR-9-7 telemetry system, equipment designed to work with the new SaturnMS-DRK ground station located near the village of Saburovo, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from NIP-14, a station, close to Moscow, belonging to the Soviet ground-based tracking network. The spacecraft was similar to Luna 11 but had a slightly lengthened (by 15 centimetres (5.9 in)) instrument container so as to accommodate the modified DRK and new BR-9-7 telemetry systems.[1]

Mission

The Kosmos 159 was launched 16 May 1967 [4] at 21:43:57 GMT, which was a radio-equipped version of the E-6 used to test tracking and communications networks for the Soviet crewed lunar program. The objective of the mission was to acquire data on trajectory measurement techniques for future crewed lunar missions. Kosmos 159 was planned to go into a very high apogee (250,000 km) orbit, but the Blok L upper stage is to have cut off too early, leaving the spacecraft in a perigee of 350 kilometres (220 mi), an apogee of 60,637 kilometres (37,678 mi), an inclination of 51.8°, and an orbital period of 1174.0 minutes.[2] Despite the incorrect orbit, controllers were able to accomplish the original mission, carried out over a period of nine days during which it was discovered that the energy potential of the UHF downlink from the spacecraft to the ground was 1–2 orders magnitude below the calculated value. Kosmos 159 reentered the Earth's atmosphere on 11 November 1967. The craft weighed 1,640 kilograms (3,620 lb).[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c Siddiqi, Asif A. "BEYOND EARTH: A CHRONICLE OF DEEP SPACE EXPLORATION, 1958–2016", 2018, pp. 87-88, 17 April 2020, https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/beyond-earth-tagged.pdf This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b "Cosmos 159: Trajectory 1967-046A". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. NASA. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Zelenyi, L. M., A. V. Zakharov, and O. V. Zakutnyaya. "Will the Lunar Renaissance Come Forth?" Solar System Research 45.7, 2011, pp. 697-704, ProQuest, 15 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Cosmos 159: Display 1967-046A". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. NASA. 27 February 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.