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Zenit - Korolyov's Legacy


Tyneside, UK
2019 Jan 19
Saturday, Day 19

Maintained by:












Zenit Launch Failures

This table lists all occasions where a Zenit satellite failed to reach orbit through some fault of the launch vehicle.

Where the launch vehicle was destroyed early in the mission, the Zenit was likely destroyed too. In at least one instance where the failure occurred at high altitude, the cabin separated and was was recovered.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 № 1              
1961 Dec 11, 09:39 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Vostok 8K72K
Protoype recoverable photo-reconnaissance satellite - failed to reach orbit when the upper stage cutoff prematurely and the spacecraft destruct system fired at T+407 seconds. The descent module reportedly landed in Siberia but was never found.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 № 3              
1962 Jun 1, 09:38 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Vostok 8A92
Third Zenit-2 launch attempt - failed when a first-stage problem caused the launcher to explode 300 m above the pad.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 №12              
1963 Jul 10, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Vostok 8A92
Launch vehicle failure - strap-on engine shut down at T+1.9s.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 №14              
1963 Nov 28, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Vostok 8A92
Launch vehicle failure in third stage - spacecraft destroyed by automatic system.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 №28              
1965 Jul 13, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Vostok 8A92
Satellite lost when launch vehicle second-stage guidance failed.

Zenit-4 11Ф69              
1966 May 17, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Second generation photo-reconnaissance satellite with higher-resolution camera system - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 №40              
1966 Sep 16, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Vostok 8A92
Photo reconnaissance satellite - lost when the launch vehicle core-stage failed.

Zenit-4 11Ф69              
1967 Jun 20, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Second generation photo-reconnaissance satellite with higher-resolution camera system - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-4 11Ф69              
1967 Jul 21, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Second generation photo-reconnaissance satellite with higher-resolution camera system - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-2 11Ф61 №51              
1967 Sep 1, 10:30 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Destroyed on failure of third stage at T+296s - impact near Novaya Zemlya.

Zenit-4 11Ф69              
1970 Jul 21, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Second generation photo-reconnaissance satellite with higher-resolution camera system - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-2M 11Ф690, Gektor              
1971 Mar 5, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Photo-reconnaissance satellite - failed to reach orbit. Carried Nauka autonomous module that contained infrared and microwave telescope to study radiation from the Earth.

Zenit-4M 11Ф691, Rotor              
1971 Jun 25, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Upgraded Zenit-4 photo-reconnaissance satellite with orbit-adjustment engine - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-4M 11Ф691, Rotor              
1971 Aug 19, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Upgraded Zenit-4 photo-reconnaissance satellite with orbit-adjustment engine - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-2M 11Ф690, Gektor              
1971 Dec 3, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Photo-reconnaissance satellite - failed to reach orbit. Carried Nauka autonomous module for electric field studies.

Zenit-4M 11Ф691, Rotor              
1972 Sep 2, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Upgraded Zenit-4 photo-reconnaissance satellite with orbit-adjustment engine - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-4M 11Ф691, Rotor              
1973 Jul 4, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Upgraded Zenit-4 photo-reconnaissance satellite with orbit-adjustment engine - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-4MK 11Ф692, Germes              
1974 Apr 12, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Variant of the manoeuvrable Zenit-4M but with high resolution cameras - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-2M 11Ф690, Gektor              
1974 Aug 30, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Voskhod 11A57
Photo-reconnaissance satellite - failed to reach orbit. Also carried a test re-entry capsule for Yantar.

Zenit-4MKT 11Ф635, Fram              
1976 Oct 4, 11:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Variant of the Zenit photo-reconnaissance satellite with specialised cameras for Earth Resources photography and environmental monitoring - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-4MK 11Ф692, Germes              
1977 Feb 22, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Variant of the manoeuvrable Zenit-4M but with high resolution cameras - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-4MKM 11Ф692M, Gerakl              
1977 Aug 10, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Modified version of the Zenit-4MK, possibly with a higher resolution camera - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-2M 11Ф690, Gektor              
1979 Feb 16, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Photo reconnaissance satellite - failed to reach orbit. Carried Nauka autonomous module.

Zenit-6 11Ф645, Argon              
1979 Oct 12, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Zenit variant with universal capability apparently able to cover both high and low resolution photography missions - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-6 11Ф645, Argon              
1982 May 15, 00:00 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Zenit variant with universal capability apparently able to cover both high and low resolution photography missions - failed to reach orbit.

Zenit-8 17Ф116, Oblik              
1986 Mar 26, 00:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Variant of the Zenit photographic satellite with capabilities of imaging and high slant angle. Launcher exploded 95s after ignition.
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