Zond 7

Zond 7The Soviet Union launches the Zond 7 unmanned spacecraft, an unmanned version of the Soyuz 7K-L1 space vehicle intended to take cosmonauts around the moon. Carrying no crew, this vehicle takes pictures and tests various spacecraft systems without risking human lives. Zond 7 returns to Earth using an unusual multiple-skip atmospheric re-entry profile on August 14th. If Zond 7 had been carrying a crew, this would have been the first nominal flight of the Soyuz 7K-L1 vehicle. No cosmonaut crews would reach the moon prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 20th century.