Kosmos 434
LK Lander
Mission typeSpacecraft test
OperatorSoviet Union
COSPAR ID1971-069A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.5407
Mission duration10 years and 10 days
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftT2K No.3
Launch mass7,000 kilograms (15,000 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date12 August 1971, 09:30 (1971-08-12UTC09:30Z) UTC[2]
Launch siteBaikonur 31/6
End of mission
Decay date23 August 1981
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Semi-major axis12,353.00 kilometres (7,675.80 mi)
Perigee altitude187 kilometres (116 mi)
Apogee altitude11,777 kilometres (7,318 mi)
Inclination51.5 degrees
Period227.94 minutes
Epoch11 September 1971[3]

Kosmos 434 (Russian: Космос 434; meaning Cosmos 434) was the final uncrewed test flight of the Soviet LK Lander. It performed the longest burn of the four uncrewed LK Lander tests, validating the backup rocket engine of the LK's Blok E propulsion system. It finished in a 186 km by 11,804 km orbit. This test qualified the lander as flightworthy.

The LK was the only element of the Soviet human lunar programs that reached this status. In 1980-81 there were fears that it might carry nuclear fuel. When it reentered over Australia on August 22, 1981 the Soviet Foreign Ministry in Australia admitted that Kosmos 434 was an “experiment unit of a lunar cabin,” or lunar lander.

See also


  1. ^ "Cosmos 434". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 15 December 2013.