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Sputnik 25



This mission was an attempted lunar soft landing, with the purpose of returning data on the mechanical characteristics of the lunar surface, the hazards presented by the topology such as craters, rocks, and other obstructions, and radiation, in preparation for future manned landings. The 1500 kg spacecraft consisted of a cylindrical section containing maneuvering and landing rockets and fuel, orientation devices and radio transmitters and a spherical top containing the 100 kg lander. The lander would be ejected onto the surface after the main body touched down, carrying a camera and devices to measure radiation.

The spacecraft was injected into Earth orbit successfully by the SL-6/A-2-e launcher but failed to escape orbit for its trip to the Moon. Its orbit decayed on 5 January 1963 after one day.

Sputnik 25 was originally designated Sputnik 33 in the U.S. Naval Space Command Satellite Situation Summary.

Alternate Names

  • 00521
  • Sputnik 33 (USNSC)
  • Sputnik25

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1963-01-04
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage + Escape Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 2500 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Selected References

  • Shelton, W., Soviet space exploration - the first decade, Arthur Barker Ltd., Unnumbered, London, England, 1969.
  • Harvey, B., The new Russian space programme from competition to collaboration, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, England, 1996.
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