[FPSPACE] a question....about Zond 6

Anatoly Zak agzak at optonline.net
Sun Jul 26 18:22:27 EDT 2015

Interestingly, Korolev¹s Legacy published in the USSR in 1980 describes
Zond-5 and Zond-6 missions but doesn¹t mention biological experiments but
Spaceflight Mechanics by Levanotvsky, which came out the same year and was
the source for us in Moscow for years says that biological ³organisms² were

Anatoly Zak

On 7/26/15 5:59 PM, "Bart Hendrickx" <bhen at telenet.be> wrote:

> To the best my knowledge the Russians have never exactly revealed what kind of
> biological payload was on board Zond-6. The reason is probably that any
> animals on board most likely died, either as a result of the partial
> depressurization of the descent capsule that took place late in the mission or
> as a result of vehicle¹s crash landing.
> The biological payloads carried by Zond-5, 6 and 7 were discussed in a 1971
> paper by Gazenko, Antipov and Parfenov (³Results of Biological Investigations
> Undertaken on the Zond-5, Zond-6 and Zond-7 Stations² (in Russian),
> ³Kosmicheskie issledovaniya², 9 (July-August 1971)). I don¹t have that, but
> Asif Siddiqi refers to it in ³Challenge to Apollo². He says that this source
> implies at several points that the biological payloads for Zond-6 were almost,
> but not completely identical to those flown on Zond-5.  Explicit mention was
> only made of air-dried cells of wheat, barley, peas, pine, carrots, and
> tomatoes. However, Zond-6 may also have carried tortoises, drosophila,
> Tradescantia plants, bulbs of the Allium series, dried wheat germs, various
> trains of chlorella, B. coli and other samples.
> The 1985 ³Cosmonautics Encyclopedia² edited by Glushko does seem to confirm
> that Zond-6 carried tortoises : ³Scientific studies : Š. biological
> experiments with various  objects : tortoises (on Zond-5, 6, 7), insects,
> plants, bacteria².
> Looking back at the TASS reports issued during the Zond-5 and 6 missions, no
> mention is made of biological payloads. The Pravda newspaper published some
> quite detailed articles on both missions at the time, but only one of the
> articles (on Zond-6) briefly mentions that ³Zond-6 carried out radiation
> studies with the help of biological objects begun by the Zond-5 automatic
> station². In other words, the presence of animals on board these vehicles
> (even the tortoises that survived the Zond-5 splashdown) was something the
> Russians didn¹t want to advertise during or shortly after the actual missions,
> possibly to avoid creating the impression that the missions were man-related.
> I¹m not sure when exactly they first revealed that the Zonds had carried
> tortoises and other animals.
> Bart Hendrickx 
> From: FPSPACE [mailto:fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of
> Peter Pesavento
> Sent: zondag 26 juli 2015 0:34
> To: FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org
> Subject: [FPSPACE] a question....about Zond 6
> Does anyone know what the biological payload of Zond 6 was?
> Was it mammalian?
> If you do, and have a reference, please post.
> Many thanks in advance.
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