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Molniya
Molniya -

Credit: © Mark Wade. 21,462 bytes. 264 x 355 pixels.



Other Designations: Molniya-2M. Article Number: 11F637. Class: Communications. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: NPO PM.

Communications satellite. Development of Molniya-2M began in 1972. It was later called Molniya-3. It used the Segment-3 three-channel repeater (cm-band, 4-6 GHZ). Flight trials began in November 1974. The Molniya-3 was used to create the 'Orbita' communications system for northern regions, with groups of four satellites. The land segment used a 12 m diameter parabolic antenna, which was pointed automatically at the satellite using autonomous electromechanical equipment. Later versions were to be part of the YeSSS Unified Satellite Communications System. Trials of this version began in the 1980's, with the system being accepted by the military in 1983-1985.


Specification

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


Molniya-3 Chronology


21 November 1974 Molniya 3-01 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 250 km. Apogee: 40,095 km. Inclination: 64.1 deg.

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


14 April 1975 Molniya 3-02 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 174 km. Apogee: 39,323 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.


14 November 1975 Molniya 3-03 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 859 km. Apogee: 39,489 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).


27 December 1975 Molniya 3-04 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 452 km. Apogee: 40,708 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Decay date suspect 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 cooperation scheme).


12 May 1976 Molniya 3-05 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 93 km. Apogee: 37,589 km. Inclination: 62.1 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).


28 December 1976 Molniya 3-06 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 426 km. Apogee: 13,594 km. Inclination: 59.5 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).


28 April 1977 Molniya 3-07 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 651 km. Apogee: 39,699 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).


28 October 1977 Molniya 3-08 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 294 km. Apogee: 40,024 km. Inclination: 62.7 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.


24 January 1978 Molniya 3-09 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 85 km. Apogee: 36,195 km. Inclination: 63.3 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).


13 October 1978 Molniya 3-10 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 209 km. Apogee: 40,017 km. Inclination: 62.7 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).


18 January 1979 Molniya 3-11 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 370 km. Apogee: 39,973 km. Inclination: 63.0 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).


06 June 1979 Molniya 3-12 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 126 km. Apogee: 19,362 km. Inclination: 63.0 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.


18 April 1980 Cosmos 1175 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: Fourth stage failure. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 251 km. Apogee: 458 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.


Molniya-3Molniya-3

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Probable failed early warning. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.
18 July 1980 Molniya 3-13 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,364 km. Apogee: 38,990 km. Inclination: 63.1 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).


09 January 1981 Molniya 3-14 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 487 km. Apogee: 39,863 km. Inclination: 63.6 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-10. 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).


24 March 1981 Molniya 3-15 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 201 km. Apogee: 40,052 km. Inclination: 63.9 deg.

Replace Molniya 3-11. 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).


08 June 1981 Molniya 3-16 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 213 km. Apogee: 40,027 km. Inclination: 63.2 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-14. 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.


11 September 1981 Cosmos 1305 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: Fourth stage failure. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,288 km. Apogee: 13,197 km. Inclination: 63.7 deg.

Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.


17 October 1981 Molniya 3-17 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 971 km. Apogee: 39,183 km. Inclination: 62.7 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-12. 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.


24 March 1982 Molniya 3-18 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 121 km. Apogee: 38,589 km. Inclination: 63.9 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-15. 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.


27 August 1982 Molniya 3-19 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,567 km. Apogee: 38,841 km. Inclination: 63.9 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-13. 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.


11 March 1983 Molniya 3-20 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 2,069 km. Apogee: 38,314 km. Inclination: 63.9 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-17. 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.


31 August 1983 Molniya 3-21 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,864 km. Apogee: 38,445 km. Inclination: 64.4 deg.

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.


21 December 1983 Molniya 3-22 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 176 km. Apogee: 39,819 km. Inclination: 64.3 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-16. 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.



YeSSS Unified SatellYeSSS Unified Satell - Unified Satellite Communication System

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16 January 1985 Molniya 3-23 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 626 km. Apogee: 39,732 km. Inclination: 64.8 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-19. 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.


29 May 1985 Molniya 3-24 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,449 km. Apogee: 38,895 km. Inclination: 64.1 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-18. 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.


17 July 1985 Molniya 3-25 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,797 km. Apogee: 38,334 km. Inclination: 64.7 deg.

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.


03 October 1985 Molniya 3-26 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,660 km. Apogee: 38,722 km. Inclination: 64.6 deg.

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.


24 December 1985 Molniya 3-27 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,554 km. Apogee: 38,555 km. Inclination: 64.5 deg.

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.


18 April 1986 Molniya 3-28 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,255 km. Apogee: 39,095 km. Inclination: 64.7 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-23. 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.


20 June 1986 Molniya 3-29 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,581 km. Apogee: 38,815 km. Inclination: 64.7 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-20. 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.


20 October 1986 Molniya 3-30 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,742 km. Apogee: 38,570 km. Inclination: 64.9 deg.

Replaced Molniya 3-21. 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.


22 January 1987 Molniya 3-31 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,285 km. Apogee: 39,069 km. Inclination: 64.1 deg.

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.


26 May 1988 Molniya 3-32 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 2,066 km. Apogee: 38,104 km. Inclination: 64.6 deg.

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.


29 September 1988 Molniya 3-33 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,867 km. Apogee: 38,414 km. Inclination: 65.0 deg.

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.


22 December 1988 Molniya 3-34 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 899 km. Apogee: 39,481 km. Inclination: 63.9 deg.

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. First launch from LC43/3 since it was damaged by a booster accident in June 1987.


08 June 1989 Molniya 3-35 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,436 km. Apogee: 38,918 km. Inclination: 64.8 deg.

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.


28 November 1989 Molniya 3-36 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 698 km. Apogee: 39,655 km. Inclination: 64.8 deg.

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.


23 January 1990 Molniya 3-37 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 982 km. Apogee: 39,367 km. Inclination: 64.9 deg.

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.


13 June 1990 Molniya 3-38 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 571 km. Apogee: 39,778 km. Inclination: 63.5 deg.

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.


21 September 1990 Molniya 3-39 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,209 km. Apogee: 39,142 km. Inclination: 63.2 deg.

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.


22 March 1991 Molniya 3-40 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,777 km. Apogee: 38,574 km. Inclination: 63.2 deg.

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.


17 September 1991 Molniya 3-41 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 1,209 km. Apogee: 39,145 km. Inclination: 63.1 deg.

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.


14 October 1992 Molniya 3-42 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 461 km. Apogee: 40,854 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system, transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and international cooperation.


02 December 1992 Molniya 3-43 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 356 km. Apogee: 39,989 km. Inclination: 63.3 deg.

Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system, transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and international cooperation.


21 April 1993 Molniya 3-44 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 744 km. Apogee: 39,603 km. Inclination: 62.9 deg.

Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radio communications system, transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network and international cooperation.


04 August 1993 Molniya 3-45 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 511 km. Apogee: 39,841 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.

Operation of the long range telephone and telegraph radio-communications system.


23 August 1994 Molniya-3 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 622 km. Apogee: 39,726 km. Inclination: 63.0 deg.
09 August 1995 Molniya-3 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 468 km. Apogee: 39,875 km. Inclination: 62.9 deg.

Voice and TV coverage.


24 October 1996 Molniya-3 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 648 km. Apogee: 39,709 km. Inclination: 62.9 deg.
01 July 1998 Molniya-3 Program: Molniya. Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Perigee: 501 km. Apogee: 39,850 km. Inclination: 62.8 deg.
08 July 1999 Molniya-3 Launch Site: Plesetsk . Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. Perigee: 523 km. Apogee: 39,830 km. Inclination: 63.0 deg.

The launch was from one of the three active R-7 class pads at Plesetsk (LC16/pad 2, LC43/pad 3, LC43/pad 4) and used the 8K78M launch vehicle, consisting of the 11S59 core packet, the 11S510 Block I third stage, and the Block-ML upper stage. The Block ML and the payload were placed in a 62.8 degree low parking orbit and then the ML fired to deliver the payload to a 12-hour operational orbit. This was the 52nd Molniya-3 to be launched.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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