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Cosmos 482



This mission has been identified as an attempted Venus probe which failed to escape low Earth orbit. It was launched by an SL-6/A-2-e launcher 4 days after the Venera 8 atmospheric probe and may have been similar in design and mission plan. After achieving an Earth parking orbit, the spacecraft made an apparent attempt to launch into a Venus transfer trajectory. It separated into four pieces, two of which remained in low Earth orbit and decayed within 48 hours, and two pieces (presumably the payload and detached engine unit) went into a higher 210 x 9800 km orbit. It is thought that a malfunction resulted in an engine burn which did not achieve sufficient velocity for the Venus transfer and left the payload in this elliptical Earth orbit.

Beginning in 1962, the name Cosmos was given to Soviet spacecraft which remained in Earth orbit, regardless of whether that was their intended final destination. The designation of this mission as an intended planetary probe is based on evidence from Soviet and non-Soviet sources and historical documents. Typically Soviet planetary missions were initially put into an Earth parking orbit as a launch platform with a rocket engine and attached probe. The probes were then launched toward their targets with an engine burn with a duration of roughly 4 minutes. If the engine misfired or the burn was not completed, the probes would be left in Earth orbit and given a Cosmos designation.

Alternate Names

  • 05919

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1972-03-31
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 1180.0 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Artem IvankovGeneral ContactLavochkin

Selected References

Cosmos 482 identified as failed Venus mission, Aviat. Week Space Technol., 96, No. 15, 15, Apr. 1972.

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 & Sons, Chichester, England, 1996.

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