Cosmos 140
Kosmos 140 was an unmanned flight of the Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

. It was the third attempted test flight of the Soyuz 7K-OK
Soyuz 7K-OK
The manned Soyuz spacecraft can be classified into design generations. Soyuz 1 through Soyuz 11 were first-generation vehicles, carrying a crew of up to three without spacesuits and distinguished from those following by their bent solar panels and their use of the Igla automatic docking navigation...

 model, after orbital (Kosmos 133) and launch (Soyuz 11A511) failures of the first two Soyuz spacecraft. The spacecraft suffered attitude control problems and excessive fuel consumption in orbit, but remained controllable. An attempted maneuver on the 22nd orbit still showed problems with the control system. It malfunctioned yet again during retrofire, leading to a steeper than planned ballistic reentry
Ballistic reentry
A ballistic reentry is a type of atmospheric reentry of an artificial vehicle that relies solely on drag within the atmosphere to slow the vehicle....

 and a 300 mm (11.8 in) hole being burned in the heat shield.

Although the event would have been lethal to any human occupants, the capsule's recovery systems operated and the capsule crashed through the ice of the frozen Aral Sea
Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was a lake that lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south...

, hundreds of kilometers short of its landing zone. The spacecraft finally sank in 10 meters of water and had to be retrieved by divers. The test performance was nonetheless deemed "good enough"; the manned docking missions of Soyuz 1
Soyuz 1
Soyuz 1 was a manned spaceflight of the Soviet space program. Launched into orbit on April 23, 1967 carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov, Soyuz 1 was the first flight of the Soyuz spacecraft...

 and Soyuz 2
Soyuz 2A
Soyuz 2A is the unofficial designation for a cancelled space flight of the Soyuz spacecraft. It would have flown alongside the Soyuz 1 mission, except for a technical reasons the flight was cancelled, which resulted in saving the lives of the crew....

 were approved for the next flight.

Mission parameters

  • Mass
    Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

    6450 kg (14,219.8 lb)
  • Perigee
    Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...

    165 km (102.5 mi)
  • Apogee: 218 km (135.5 mi)
  • Inclination
    Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

  • Period
    Orbital period
    The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

    88.5 minutes
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