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Spacecraft: Meteor.

The first Soviet weather satellite. Development began with a decree of 30 October 1960. Work began in 1961 at OKB-586 GKOT; in 1962 it was transferred to NII-627. Final development was completed in 1964. The Meteor system subcontractors were:

  • VNII-380 GKRE Rosselevich - television
  • OKB Geofizika GKOT - Khrustalev - radiometer
  • NII-648 Mnatsakanian - radio technical system

The first of four launches were on Vostok-M boosters at 81.2 degree inclinations. The system finally went into operation in 1969.


Spacecraft: Meteor M. Acquisition of meteorological information needed for use by the weather service.

Spacecraft: Meteor-2.

Work began to develop solutions for second generation hydrographic and meteorological observation systems in 1967. Compared to Meteor-1, the Meteor-2 had a longer design operational life (one year vs. six months) and the capability to transfer data to automatically to military APPI stations (Autonomous Points of Information Collection). Prime contractor was VNIIEM Mineletrotekhprom (A G Yosifiyan). In 1969 the TTZ specification was issued by the Ministry of Defence and the Main Hydro - meteorological Office of the Soviet Ministers. Draft project was completed in 1971. Due to difficulties by NPO Geofizika in development of spectrometer equipment, the first test unit was not completed until 1975. Flight trials under Major General V I Sheulov commenced in July 1975.


Spacecraft: Meteor-Priroda.

Soviet development of remote sensing systems in support of the national economy began with a decree in December 1971 'On development work for research on earth resources using space technology'. The result was Meteor-Priroda 1, launched on 9 July 74 into a 950 km orbit by a Vostok-2M rocket, The satellite, derived from the basic Meteor weather satellite, was equipped with a radio-television system using an optico-mechanical sensor by VNIIEM Minelektrotekhprom, A G Yosifyan, General designer. This was followed from 18 May 1976 by Meteor-Priroda 2-1, in 650 km sun-synchronous 97 degree orbits. Receiving stations were located at Goskomgidormet facilities in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk.


Spacecraft: Resurs-OE. Prototype for Resurs-O1. Acquisition of information required for continued investigation of the natural resources of the earth; development of remote sensing methods for measuring the status of the earth's surface and the atmosphere beneath the satellite.

Spacecraft: Meteor-3.

Meteorological satellite. Flight trials of Meteor-2 began reasonably well, but delays were encountered due to the technological base at VNIIEM and Istra. Therefore a resolution of 4 June 1970 ordered VNIIEM to develop a parallel design of another meteosat for the hydrology office alone. This was not put into production. In its place a resolution of 16 December 1972 ordered development of a third generation system. This used the Planeta-S sensor package in the non-co-orbital Meteor-3 system plus the geostationary system Elektro. Flight trials of Meteor-3 did not begin until 1984, and there was only a single launch of Elektro, in 1994. After a long time it was not put into use. The whole project was finally cancelled, the reason being the incompetent head of development at VNIIEM. Meteor-3 was a 3-axis stabilized spacecraft using cold gas thrusters. Pointing accuracy was 20 arc-minutes. Swath width 3100 km; resolution 0.8 x 1.5 km.


Spacecraft: Resurs-O1.

Low resolution remote sensing. Acquisition of operational information on the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the national economy of the USSR; continued trials of new types of informational and measurement apparatus and methods of remote sensing of the earth's surface and atmosphere. Spacecraft based on the Meteor weather satellite bus, designed by VNIIEM.


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Last update 28 March 2001.
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