Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
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Zenit - Korolyov's Legacy


Tyneside, UK
2018 Oct 16
Tuesday, Day 289

Maintained by:



















Foton-M Missions

Photon M-1 (Foton M-1)              
2002 Oct 15, 18:20 UTC
Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
Microgravity research satellite built by Russia, based on the Zenit reconsat and carrying 600 kg of European, US, Canadian, Japanese and Indonesian experiments. The launch failed when the Block-D strap on separated from the launch vehicle and fell back onto the pad about 30s after lift-off. There was a fatality as a result of falling debris from the subsequent explosion. The launch was delayed from 2002 Oct 9.
Not Recovered

Photon M-2 (Foton M-2)       2005-020A       28686
2005 May 31, 12:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
2005 May 31:  259 x 292 km,  63.0 deg,  90.1 min
Microgravity research satellite built by Russia, based on the Zenit reconsat with 385 kg payload of 39 experiments provided by the European Space Agency. Retro-fire was quoted by ESA as lasting for 45s and the landing was near Kustanai. The mission was to have included the Fotino re-enty capsule but it was removed from the manifest shortly before launch for budgetary reasons.
Landed:
2005 Jun 16, 07:36
VHF Transmit:
239.500 MHz, FM

Photon M-3 (Foton M-3)       2007-040A       32058
2007 Sep 14, 11:00 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Soyuz-U
2007 Sep 14:  260 x 281 km,  63.0 deg,  90.0 min
Microgravity research satellite built by Russia, based on the Zenit reconsat, with approx 400 kg payload of 40 experiments provided by the European Space Agency. Included was the YES-2 tether that successfully unreeled but signals were not received from the attached Fotino capsule so it is unknown whether it re-entered successfully. Foton M-3 Landed 150 km south of Kustanai and a search helicopter touched down nearby six minutes later.
Landed:
2007 Sep 26, 07:58
VHF Transmit:
239.500 MHz, FM

Photon M-4 (Foton M-4)       2014-041A       40095
2014 Jul 18, 20:50 UTC
Baikonur Cosmodrome
Soyuz 2-1a
Russian microgravity research satellite, based on the Zenit reconsat re-entry module and the instrument unit from Yantar, making it similar to Bion M. Previous Photon missions used the Zenit instrument unit. Payload includes a number of material processing experiments and biological samples. Mission intended to last 60 days but as of Jul 23, Photon was not accepting radio commands. Communication was re-established seven days later but, as a result of the problem, the satellite was not manoeuvred to the intended 550 km circular orbit. September 27 - the State Commission for the flight announced that landing would be September 1, and the Photon cabin landed near Orenburg, Russia at 09:18 UTC on that day.
Not Recovered
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