Molniya-1 No.2


Molniya-1 No.2
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorExperimental Design Bureau
Mission durationFailed to orbit
1.5 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftMolniya-1 No.2
Spacecraft typeMolniya
ManufacturerExperimental Design Bureau
Launch mass1422 kg
Start of mission
Launch date4 June 1964, 04:00:00 GMT
RocketMolniya 8K78 s/n G15000-18
Launch siteBaikonur, Site 1
ContractorExperimental Design Bureau
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit (planned)
RegimeMolniya orbit
Perigee altitude39,000 km
Apogee altitude710 km
Period720 minutes
Kosmos-41 →

Molniya-1 No.2, a 1,422 kg (3,135 lb) Molniya-1 satellite, was the first Soviet communications satellite to be launched. However, it failed to achieve orbit due to a malfunction of the rocket which was carrying it.[1] It was intended to operate in a Molniya orbit, from where it would be used to demonstrate communications between parts of the USSR.


Molniya-1 No.2 was launched at 04:00 GMT on 4 June 1964, atop a Molniya 8K78 launch vehicle, flying from Site 1 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.[2] A motor circuit in the servo controlling the core stage throttle failed 104 seconds into the flight, resulting in the throttle becoming jammed closed and the fuel supply to the engines being stopped.[3]

Prior to the release of information about its mission, NASA had incorrectly identified the launch of Molniya-1 No.2 as a failed attempt to launch a Zond spacecraft on a circumlunar technology demonstration mission, and assigned it the placeholder designation Zond 1964A.[4]


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Molniya-1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  3. ^ Wade, Mark. "Soyuz". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  4. ^ Williams, David R. (6 January 2005). "Tentatively Identified Missions and Launch Failures". NASA. Retrieved 30 July 2010. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.