Cosmos 496 is the codename for an unmanned flight of the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, which carried out 1972 tests in Earth orbit in the summer. It was common in the Soviet Union to give only successful missions an official name. Failed flights were mostly not announced and test flights only under the general cover name cosmos.
The launch took place on June 26, 1972 at 14:53 UTC clock from Soviet Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz rocket. In general, the entire systems were tested, which were improved after the Soyuz 11 disaster. The landing took place on July 2, 1972 at 13:54 UTC.