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astronautix.com Luch


Article Number: 11F669. Code Name: Altair. Class: Communications. Type: Military. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: NPO PM.

Luch was an element of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) developed according to a decree of 17 February 1976 and deployed in the first half of the 1980's. Luch satellites, analogous to the US TDRS, provided communications service to the Mir space station, Buran space shuttle, Soyuz-TM spacecraft, military satellites, and the TsUPK ground control center. They also served to provide mobile fleet communications for the Soviet Navy. Modifications of the basic design were known as Altair, Gelios, and Luch. The modernised Luch-2 model allowed two high data rate channels to operate simulatneously, permitting transmission of real-time television from Mir. Each satellite was equipped with three transponders and had a nominal life of five years. By January 1999 five had been launched.

Luch utilized the KAUR-4 spacecraft bus equipped with the Arion transponder by NPO Radiopribor (Ryazanskiy). The spacecraft had an active 3-axis orientation system, with a single central body from which extended 40 square metres of solar panels. Its basic structure was that of the KAUR-3, but it was equipped with completely new systems: a digital computer, plasma station-keeping engines, hydrazine monopropellant orientation engines, and actively-scanned antennae arrays with 0.5 degrees antenna and 0.1 degree spacecraft pointing accuracy.


Specification

Design Life: 5 years. Total Mass: 2,170 kg.


Luch Chronology


17 February 1976 Energia, Buran, Mir, Luch, Potok approved; N1 formally cancelled. Launch Vehicle: N1, N1F, Energia.

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On work on Energia-Buran, DOS-7K nos. 7 and 8, Gamma. Geyzer (Potok), and Altair (Luch) and cancellation of the N1' was issued. The design of an improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station was authorised as part of the third generation of Soviet space systems in a decree. At that time it was planned that the two stations (DOS-7 and DOS-8) would be equipped with two docking ports at either end of the station and an additional two ports at the sides of the forward small diameter compartment. Luch and Potok were elements of the second generation global command and control system (GKKRS) deployed in the first half of the 1980's. Luch satellites, analogous to the US TDRS, provided communications service to the Mir space station, Buran space shuttle, Soyuz-TM spacecraft, military satellites, and the TsUPK ground control center. They also served to provide mobile fleet communications for the Soviet Navy.


25 October 1985 Cosmos 1700 Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S861. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 35,777 km. Apogee: 35,794 km. Inclination: 5.9 deg.

Stationed at 95 deg E. Experimental retransmission of telephone and telegraph data in the centimetre band. First launch in Altair/SR system for communication with Mir space station and other orbital spacecraft. First tests with Mir were conducted on 29 March 1986 using Mirís large aft antenna communicating with Cosmos 1700 stationed in geosynchronous orbit at 95 degrees East. In September 1986 Cosmos 1700 ceased operating and drifted off its geosynchronous orbit position.


26 November 1987 Cosmos 1897 Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S861. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 35,763 km. Apogee: 35,790 km. Inclination: 3.8 deg.

Stationed at 95 deg E. Relaying of telephone and telegraph information. Second launch in Altair/SR system for communication with Mir space station and other orbital spacecraft. In late July 1988 Cosmos 1897 was moved from its station at 95 degrees East to 12 degrees East to support the Buran shuttle test flight of November 14, 1988. During February 1987 the satellite was moved back to its original position at 95 degrees East. The satellite drifted to 90 degrees East by March 1991. By late April it was maneuvered it back to 95 degrees East, but by the end of 1991 it had drifted to 77 degrees East and was considered inoperative.


27 December 1989 Cosmos 2054 Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S861. Mass: 2,150 kg. Perigee: 35,775 km. Apogee: 35,796 km. Inclination: 1.8 deg.

Stationed at 346 deg E. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. The third Altair/SR geosynchronous satellite for communication with Mir space station and other orbital spacecraft. Combined with Cosmos 1897, it permitted Mir to maintain contact with Mission Control in Moscow 70% of the time.


16 December 1994 Luch Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S861. Mass: 2,300 kg. Perigee: 35,757 km. Apogee: 35,815 km. Inclination: 2.5 deg.

Stationed at 95 deg E. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. Improved Altair/SR geosynchronous satellite for communication with Mir space station and other orbital spacecraft.


11 October 1995 Luch 1 Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Proton 8K82K / 11S861. Mass: 2,400 kg. Perigee: 35,753 km. Apogee: 35,818 km. Inclination: 2.9 deg.

Stationed at 77 deg E. Relaying of telegraph and telephone information. Improved Altair/SR geosynchronous satellite for communication with Mir space station and other orbital spacecraft.



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