Kosmos 48


Kosmos 48
Mission typeOptical imaging reconnaissance
COSPAR ID1964-066A
SATCAT no.00908
Mission duration6 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeZenit-2
Launch mass4730 kg [1]
Start of mission
Launch date14 October 1964
09:50:00 GMT
RocketVostok-2 s/n R15002-01
Launch siteBaikonur, Site 31/6
End of mission
Landing date20 October 1964
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric [2]
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude204 km
Apogee altitude284 km
Period89.4 minutes
Epoch14 October 1964

Kosmos 48 (Russian: Космос 48 meaning Cosmos 48) or Zenit-2 No.24 was a Soviet, first generation, low resolution, optical film-return reconnaissance satellite launched in 1964. A Zenit-2 spacecraft, Kosmos 48 was the twenty-third of eighty-one such satellites to be launched[3] and had a mass of 4,730 kilograms (10,430 lb).

Kosmos 48 was launched by a Vostok-2 rocket, serial number R15002-01,[4] flying from Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch took place at 09:50 GMT on 14 October 1964, and following its successful arrival in orbit the spacecraft received its Kosmos designation; along with the International Designator 1964-066A and the Satellite Catalog Number 00908.

Kosmos 48 was operated in a low Earth orbit; on 14 October 1964 it had a perigee of 204 kilometres (127 mi), an apogee of 284 kilometres (176 mi), inclination of 65.1° and an orbital period of 89.4 minutes. Midway through its planned reconnaissance mission, the thermal control system malfunctioned, with the temperature inside the spacecraft's pressurised capsule increasing to 43 °C. As a result of the malfunction, the spacecraft was deorbited two days earlier than planned, on 20 October 1964, six days after launch.[5] The return capsule, containing the cameras and film, was successfully recovered by parachute for recovery by Soviet forces.[6]


  1. ^ https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1964-066A - 27 February 2020
  2. ^ https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/displayTrajectory.action?id=1964-066A - 27 February 2020
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Zenit-2 (11F61)". Gunter's Space Page. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "Vostok 8A92". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  6. ^ Wade, Mark. "Zenit-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2013.