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astronautix.com Molniya-2

Molniya DU
Molniya DU - Molniya DU maneuvering engine

Credit: © Mark Wade. 13,004 bytes. 232 x 225 pixels.



Other Designations: Molniya-1M. Article Number: 11F628. Class: Communications. Nation: USSR.

It had originally been foreseen that the Molniya-1 was only for use in experiments in long-distance communications. Therefore a decree on 31 October 1961 authorised work on the Molniya-1M production model, providing international communications on the centimetre band. But actually Molniya-1 worked so well that it was taken directly into service, and the -1M was skipped.

Using the common KAUR-2 bus and engineering work done on the -1M, the -2 version was defined. The draft project was completed in 1965 and a decree of 24 October 1968 authorised its development for strategic communications under the code name Kristall. The requirement was for a universal satellite to provide services to many users - the so-called Unified System of Satellite Communications (YeSSS). On 5 April 1972 the YeSSS was defined as the Molniya-2 in elliptical orbit and Raduga (Statsionar) in geosynchronous orbit.

The YeSSS radio rebroadcast system was developed by MNIIRS Minradioprom, followed by Minpromsvyaz (M R Kaplanov) and KBPM Minobshchemash (M F Reshetnev - Reshetnev's bureau had been spun off from Korolev's Filial 2 in the 1960's. It specialised in communications, television, navigation, and geodetic satellites).

Development of Molniya-2 was dogged by the issue of what on-board radio equipment to use. The final version used the retransmitter Segment-2, A G Orlov General Designer. The previous LBV Shunt travelling wave tube was initially to be used, but the final technical solution was an unpressurised satellite and a new type had to be found. Finally the LBV Shunt TWT was only applied to Ekran, where it was used in place of a cascading klystron TWT.

Flight trials of the Molniya-2 were conducted in 1971-1974. Major General N F Shlikov was in charge of the state trials commission, and took a methodical approach to achieving reliability. For example, three trials launches took place at short (2 to 4 month) intervals. Chief Designer was Gregori Markelovich Chrenyavskiy. But he was also a Soviet Minister. The motto 'never test for operations a system that you've developed' was followed. Operational flights cam in 1974-1977. Molniya-2, like Molniya-1, consisted of four pairs of spacecraft with orbits at ninety degrees to one another. A total of 19 flights were made.

Molniya-2 was used in the Orbita television system and also for the military Korund communications system. New ground segment componets included systems by Chief designer at MNIIRS MPSS, M R Kaplanov, for the communication systems from military units to the centre, and the on-board retransmitter. The ground control system was by Ryazanskiy, based on a modernised KIS Saturn. The control system at the centre was by NIIT MOM (O N Shishkin).


Specification

Total Length: 4.4 m. Maximum Diameter: 1.4 m. Total Mass: 1,600 kg.


Molniya-2 Chronology


30 October 1961 Molniya-1 and Meteor-1 satellites authorised.

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of work on the Molniya-1 communications satellite and Meteor-1 weather satellite' was issued. Thedecree authorised work on the Molniya-1M production model, providing international communications on the centimetre band. But the protoype Molniya-1 worked so well that it was taken directly into service, and the -1M was skipped.


24 October 1968 Molniya-2 satellite authorised.

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On establishment of the Kristall communications system based on Molniya-2 satellites' was issued. Kristall would be used for strategic communications.


24 November 1971 Molniya 2-01 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 516 km. Apogee: 39,553 km. Inclination: 65.0 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


05 April 1972 Unified System of Satellite Communications (YeSSS)

Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On use of Molniya and Ekran for a unified satellite communications system' was issued. The YeSSS was defined as the Molniya-2 in elliptical orbit and Raduga (Statsionar) in geosynchronous orbit.


19 May 1972 Molniya 2-02 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 479 km. Apogee: 39,293 km. Inclination: 65.0 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system; transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and international cooperation.


30 September 1972 Molniya 2-03 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 470 km. Apogee: 39,170 km. Inclination: 65.0 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system; transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and international cooperation.


12 December 1972 Molniya 2-04 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 507 km. Apogee: 39,284 km. Inclination: 65.3 deg.


YeSSS Unified SatellYeSSS Unified Satell - Unified Satellite Communication System

Credit: NASA. 46,548 bytes. 640 x 424 pixels.


Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system; transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and international cooperation.
05 April 1973 Molniya 2-05 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 532 km. Apogee: 39,822 km. Inclination: 65.2 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


11 July 1973 Molniya 2-06 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 479 km. Apogee: 39,292 km. Inclination: 65.0 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


19 October 1973 Molniya 2-07 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 555 km. Apogee: 40,055 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


25 December 1973 Molniya 2-08 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 434 km. Apogee: 39,934 km. Inclination: 62.9 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


26 April 1974 Molniya 2-09 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 722 km. Apogee: 35,752 km. Inclination: 62.4 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


23 July 1974 Molniya 2-10 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 341 km. Apogee: 39,989 km. Inclination: 62.4 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


21 December 1974 Molniya 2-11 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 305 km. Apogee: 40,065 km. Inclination: 61.9 deg.

Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network.


06 February 1975 Molniya 2-12 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 653 km. Apogee: 40,746 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Decay date suspect Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network.


08 July 1975 Molniya 2-13 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 940 km. Apogee: 39,454 km. Inclination: 61.8 deg.

Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network.


09 September 1975 Molniya 2-14 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 884 km. Apogee: 39,482 km. Inclination: 61.7 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


17 December 1975 Molniya 2-15 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 103 km. Apogee: 24,113 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


01 July 1976 Cosmos 837 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: Fourth stage failure. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 438 km. Apogee: 936 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Failed Molniya.


01 September 1976 Cosmos 853 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: Fourth stage failure. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 243 km. Apogee: 461 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Failed Molniya.


02 December 1976 Molniya 2-16 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 85 km. Apogee: 36,437 km. Inclination: 62.0 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).


11 February 1977 Molniya 2-17 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 638 km. Apogee: 39,707 km. Inclination: 61.9 deg.

Continued operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio-communication system within the Soviet Union and transmission of USSR central television programmes to stations in the Orbita and participating international networks (international coope ration scheme).



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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