|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1991 - Quarter 1|
|Previous Quarter||Next Quarter|
This was a less ambitious, scaled-back version of the original HOTOL. The single-stage to orbit winged launch vehicle using four Russian rocket engines. It was to have been air-launched from a Ukrainian An-225 aircraft.
Martin Marietta and NASA Ames (Zubrin, Baker, and Gwynne) proposed 'Mars Direct' - a Mars expedition faster, cheaper, and better than the standard NASA plan.
Completed repair of Kvant 2 hatch. References: 66 .
Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Delivered new life support equipment to replace life-expired equipment aboard. Docked with Mir on 16 Jan 1991 16:35:25 GMT. Undocked on 15 Mar 1991 12:46:41 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 15 Mar 1991 18:07:26 GMT. Total free-flight time 2.30 days. Total docked time 57.84 days. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 275 .
Stationed at 10 deg E. Telecommunications satellite. Registered by France in ST/SG/SER.E/234 and 239 until EUTELSAT can register the satellite. EUTELSAT is the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Experimental commsat; 13.2 deg E. ITALSAT is a body stabilized geostationary satellite and it is proposed to provide pre-operational domestic telecommunications services on the 20/30 GHz bands. Geographic longitude 13.2 deg E. Longitudinal tolerance +/- 0.1 deg. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Host base responsibilities for Vandenberg AFB transferred from Strategic Air Command to Air Force Space Command. References: 88 .
Installed Strela boom on Mir. References: 66 .
Installed solar array supports. References: 66 .
First launch was made on 28 January 1991 from Kwajalein Atoll against an Aries sounding rocket.
Experimental comsat; prototype of medium altitude satellite to be deployed in a constellation of 32 to 45 satellites in 1997-2001. Also carried amateur radio transponders; also performed geological research. Routine communications, collection and relaying of information in the interests of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR and other branches of the country's national economy, and the development of communications between amateur radio-operators. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Civilian navigation satellite. Positioned in plane 13 of constellation. Testing of components and equipment of a space navigation system being set up to determine the position of civil aircraft and ships of the USSR merchant marine and fishing fleet at any point on the oceans and seas. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 107 .
Geosynchronous ballistic missile early warning satellite. Declared purpose: 'Investigation of outer space and of processes occurring in the Earth's atmosphere'. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 67 , 107 , 274 .
Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
A group of unidentified saboteurs (possibly KGB) broke into the premises of NPO Mashinostroyeniye and destroyed the mock-up.
Stationed at 19.2 deg E; European coverage. Astra 1B provides TV coverage to Western Europe. The satellite is owned and operated by Société Europíenne des Satellites (SES), a private company formed in 1985. Astra 1B is the second in a network of four satellites. SES acquired Astra 1B from DBS Crimson Satellite Associates while still under construction by GE Astro Space (as Satcom K3). Astra 1B is colocated with Astra 1A, and doubled the number of channels provided by the Astra network. Spacecraft: GE 5000 platform.3-axis stabilisation with momentum wheels, magnetic torquers, Earth sensors and 20 blowdown monopropellant hydrazine thrusters. Solar arrays provide 4850 W BOL, 4 50 Ahr NiH batteries. GEO insertion provided by 2 500N bipropellant motors. Payload: 16 Ku-band transponders (with six spares) References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Earth imaging for weather, climatology, atmospheric physics; 4 deg E. Geostationary meteorological satellite, operating within the world-wide network of the World Weather Watch of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Its main missions are: imaging in the visible, infrared and water vapour region of the spectrum. Dat a reception from so called Data Collection Platforms (DCPs); data distribution to meteorological services and other interested parties (research institutes, etc). Launch time 2336:00 UT. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Civilian navigation satellite. Positioned in plane 12 of constellation. Maritime navigation. Signals at 150,00 MHz and 400.00 MHz. Carried COSPAS search and rescue package. Location of vessels in the Soviet merchant marine and fishing fleet; work within the international space search and rescue system for locating vessels and aircraft in distress (COSPAS-SARSAT). References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Unmanned resupply vessel to Mir. Attempted to dock with Mir on 21 March 1998 14:28 GMT, but missed the station by 500 m. Docking attempted again on 23 March but at 50 meters the docking was aborted; the Progress missed hitting the station by five meters. Thereafter it was placed in a station-keeping co-orbit with Mir while the problem was diagnosed. Finally docked with Mir on 28 Mar 1991 12:02:28 GMT. On 12 and 14 Apr 1998 two burns of the engine of Progress M-7 raised the station's orbit from a 360 x 377 km orbit to a 370 x 382 km orbit. Undocked on 6 May 1991 22:59:36 GMT. Destroyed in reentry on 7 May 1991 17:20:05 GMT. Total free-flight time 9.72 days. Total docked time 39.46 days. References: 1 , 2 , 6 , 275 .
Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system in the USSR; transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and within the framework of international cooperation. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 .
Radar imaging. Second flight of Almaz radarsats taken out of mothballs after death of Ustinov. Returned images of 10 to 15 meter resolution through 17 October 1992. Surveying of the territory of the Soviet Union and of other countries for purposes of geology, cartography, oceanology, ecology and agriculture, and study of the ice situation at high latitudes. References: 1 , 2 , 5 , 6 , 67 , 274 .
|Previous Quarter||Next Quarter|