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October 10, 2019
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October 17, 2019
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October 15, 1959
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003150426 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 "SEeltE-T- ,3.5(c) '3.3(h)(2) rONFOENTIAL CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY COPY NO. 56 OCI NO. 5013/59 15 October 1959 TrOZGIV.141�N.ClitikSS. 1;77 GOSS. CtIgAGED 1451,1 woo Oga:11, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY OFFICE OF CURRENT INTELLIGENCE -0-arga@MET ONFIDENTIAL aV--;zr,V7 SECRET Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 C03150426 SECRET �SteRET-- 140 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY 15 October 1959 PART I (continued) SOVIET SPACE PROBE - LUNIK III It is becoming increasingly clear that the third Soviet lunar probe, launched on 3 October, has not fol- lowed the orbit predicted in early Soviet releases which would have surveyed the moon's "far side" at approximately 6,000 miles altitude. It is not yet clear whether Lunik III circled the moon or returned on the same side as it approached; however, on 10 October the probe reached a point some 291,000 miles from earth from where 90 percent of the "far side" of the moon was observable and at a time when the area was illuminated by the sun. Lunik III is returning toward the earth and is expected to have a highly eccentric orbit of 15.5 days' duration. --SEGRET- ii Page 7 THE WEEK IN BRIEF -43E-eRE- Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 03150426 ti CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY 15.0dtOberl.1959 V SOVIET SPACE PROBE - LUNIK III The USSR launched its approached closest to the moon third lunar rocket--Lunik III at 1016 on 6 Ootober, about' --on 3 October. According to twd half 'days later. Moscow announcements, Lunik III The original announcement stated SfiC-ftt PART I OF IMMEDIATE INTEREST Page 7 of 10 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 003150426 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 ,enEr Noe CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY 15 October 1959 that this experiment was part of the Soviet program for outer- space exploration and prepara- tion for interplanetary flight. Lunik III has been variously referred to in Soviet announce- ments as an "automatic inter- YINICU LAUNCHED 3 OCTOBER wivsictu SOVIET LUNIK III ORBIT ESTIMATED MIMIC III ORIIIT 13 1/2 DAYS 9100C planetary station," an "auto- matic observatory," and an "auto- matic flying laboratory." Early Soviet an- nouncements indicated. it was intended to pass around the moon and return to the vicinity of the earth, but there is consid- erable evidence that Lunik III is not per- forming as Soviet scientists announced. Instrumentation Little informa- tion is available concerning the actual instrumentation sys- tems carried. It ap- pears that part of the instrumentation was contained in the final stage rocket which separated from the "automatic inter- planetary station," shortly after enter- ing orbit. Major emphasis in early news releases was given to the recording of data--pos- sibly to include securing an image of the constantly hidden side of the moon and relaying it to earth by radio. Although the press has con- stantly used the word "photo- graph" in referring to the capa- bility of Lunik III, the original Russian announcement used words signifying "to record" and "print" or "copy," rather than the usual verb meaning "to photograph." TASS later claimed that its 6 October state- ment concerning photography was un- founded, which sug- gests an attempt to retreat from the earlier stated capa- bility--possibly be- cause of the failure of certain systems aboard the probe or because the probe was not fol- lowing its intended path around the moon, 12 OCT SEC SOVIET LUNAR VEHICLES PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS CHARACTERISTIC. LUNDE I LUNIK II LUNIK III Date of launch 2 Jan 59 12 Sept 59 Empty weight of final stage (lbs.) 3,245 3,332 Total payload weight (lbs.) 797 860 Gross weight of separating 397 Unknown Instrumentation probe (lbs.) Estimated instrumentation weight 400 Unknown 345 remaining with powered final stage (lbs.) Increase in payload weight over Lunik I (lbs.) Structure weight minus payload (lbs.) Length and diameter of last stage (ft.) Diameter of instrument capsule (ft.) Shane 3 Oct 59 3,424 959 613 63 162 2,448 2,472 2,465 17.5 x 8.5 Unknown Unknown 2.7 Unknown Unknown Spherical Spherical Unknown >Pi 15 OCTOBER 1959 The USSR has announced that data transmissions would be made on 39.986 and 183.6 mega- cycles. Clarification has not yet been made as to which of the orbiting bodies is trans- mitting on 39.986 megacycles. ET PART I OF IMMEDIASK INTEREST SET Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 Page 8 of 10 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 03150426 tato' SECRET CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY 15 October 1959 The 183.6-megacycle transmis- sion is stated to be associated with the "station." Measure- ments of temperature and cosmic ray phenomena are probably in- cluded among other as-yet-unan- nounced measurements. The in- ternal power supply for the in- strumentation and communications links consists of both chemical and solar batteries. It was stated that communications would be programed only at def- inite intervals- from two to four hours each day in conform- ity with the program of observa- tions. Transmissions thus far de- tected have occurred only while the "station" has been within the radio horizon of Soviet ground stations, thus restrict- ing the reception by Western stations, Jodrell Bank in the UK being the sole exception. Other observation facilities have had no intercept success up to the present time. Configuration Although there has been a progressive increase in total and payload weights from Lunik I to Lunik III, all three are believed to have had essentially the same configuration. Visual examination of the model of the Lunik I final powered-stage vehicle indicates the use of a liquid oxygeA - kerosene pro- pellant system. The booster vehicle for the final powered stage is most probably the So- viet ICBM. The structure weight (minus payload) for each of the final stages is very nearly the same --the differences being less than one percent of the average weight. Thus, it appears that the same type of vehicle was used for the three lunar shots, and that the payload for Lunik II was increased over that for Lunik I by less than one percent, and by less than 3 percent for Lunik III. On the assumption that the propellant weight in the final stage of each Lunik was 15,000 pounds, the variations in burn-out velocities can be di- rectly related to the differences in weights of the empty final stages. Launch Moscow radio announced the launching of Lunik III on 4 Octo- ber. /t also predicted that the vehicle would reach a minimum lunar altitude of about 6,000 nautical miles in approximately three days. The vehicle was to begin its scheduled two-hour transmissions on 4 October at a time when its altitude was predicted to be 64,000 miles above the earth. Evaluation of Flight Preliminary data analysis indicates that the closest the "station" passeWto,.-the moon was 4.890 miles. information based on calcula- tions by a top Soviet astronomer, that Lunik III did not actually go around the moon at all but in its ascent passed behind the moon. This source stated, how- ever, that the probe did reach a point from which 90 percent of the "far side" of the moon was observable and at a time when the area was illuminated by the sun. Soviet releases made it increasingly clear that Lunik III would not fulfill its originally announced mission PART I -SMUT OF IMMEDIATE INTEREST esi-r.P=T Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 Page 9 of 10 C06814956 C03150426 Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 -SECRET-- SECRET CURRENT INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY 15 October 1959 of swerving around the moon at a minimum distance of about 6,000 miles. This was later changed to 4,340 miles prior to Lunik III's arrival near the moon, and subsequently changed to 4,375 miles, after probe had passed the moon. On 10 October, the vehicle was said to have proceeded to some 291,000 miles from the earth and to have started its return journey. The moon's apogee and perigee are 253,000 and 222,000 miles, respectively. Additional predictions of the station's orbit around the earth included a maximum dis- tance of 248,000 and a minimum distance of 1,240 miles, later modified to 291,000 and 24,800 miles. At present, it is not clear whether the capsule passed in front of or behind the moon, nor have any references been made to the path of the final stage, other than early re- leases stating it was follow- ing a similar trajectory to Lunik III. The use of the designation "automatic interplanetary sta- tion" as applied to Lunik III does not, in terms of presently available information, appear appropriate to its apparent mis- sion. The terminology more ap- propriately would be associated with an interplanetary flight mission for which the "station" nould be utilized in the future. (Prepared by (Jai) PART I SECRET- OF IMMEDIATE INTEREST SECRET Approved for Release: 2019/10/07 C06814956 Page 10 of 10