Zond(redirected from Zond program)
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the name of Soviet unmanned interplanetary probes launched from 1964 and designed for the study of outer space and for the development of the techniques of long space flights. All Zonds launched between 1964 and 1970 were equipped with an astroorientation system (based on the sun, the earth, and the star Canopus) and a vernier engine installation. The power supply for on-board equipment was derived from solar batteries. The temperature-control system was designed to operate at various distances from the sun. Launching of the last stage of the launch vehicle with an unmanned interplanetary probe was accomplished from an intermediate geocentric orbit. The characteristics of the main Zond flights are given in Table 1.
For Zond 2 orientation was accomplished for the first time by six electric rocket plasma engines. The phototelevision images of the far side of the moon that were sent from Zond 3 to the earth made it possible to release the first complete picture of the moon (using the photographs obtained from Luna 3 and the photographs of the side of the moon that faces us). Zond 5 carried turtles, the first form of terrestrial life to orbit the moon and return to earth. The controlled descent to earth was accomplished by using aerodynamic lift on the Zond 6, Zond 7, and Zond 8 unmanned interplanetary probes.