Encyclopedia Astronautica
Elektron-B



elektron.jpg
Elektron-B
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. 2 launches, 1964.01.30 (Elektron 2) to 1964.07.11 (Elektron 4). The Elektron mission was one of the earliest Soviet satellites to be authorized following the initial Sputnik series.

The two spacecraft were designed to be deployed in a single launch of a Vostok booster. The spacecraft had the specific task of mapping the Van Allen radiation belts at higher inclinations than that achieved by US satellites of the time (60 degrees vs 30 degrees latitude).

Decrees authorizing design and building of the Elektrons were issued on 9 May 1960 and 13 May 1961. Design work began in July 1960. Elektron B, with a design mass of 460 kg, was boosted into a high 450 x 60,000 km orbit to map the outer Van Allen belt, simultaneous with Elektron A's study of the inner radiation belt. To attain this orbit it used a perigee kick motor - a solid rocket of 3350 kgf and 12 to 15 seconds duration. Elektron B was 400 mm in diameter and 850 mm long. The spacecraft also measured cosmic rays and the upper atmosphere.

Gross mass: 444 kg (978 lb).
First Launch: 1964.01.30.
Last Launch: 1964.07.10.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Vostok 8K72K Russian orbital launch vehicle. R-7 ICBM with single-engine third stage, uprated from Luna launch vehicle and with forward fairing to accomodate Vostok/Zenit sized spacecraft. 8K72K, used for Vostok manned spacecraft launches and the first Zenit launch attempt. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Elektron Simultaneous study of the Earth's inner and outer radiation belts, cosmic rays and upper atmosphere by two spacecraft in different orbits. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Semenov, Yuri P Editor, Raketno-kosmicheskaya korporatsiya 'Energia' imeni S P Koroleva, Moscow, Russia, 1996.
  • Varfolomyev, Timothy, "Soviet Rocketry that Conquered Space - Part 3", Spaceflight, 1996, Volume 38, page 206.
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, The Soviet Space Race With Apollo, University Press of Florida, 2003.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Elektron-B Chronology


1960 May 9 - .
  • Elektron satellite approved. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Elektron-A; Elektron-B. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On approval of work on the Elektron scientific satellite' was issued. The two spacecraft were designed to be deployed in a single launch of a Vostok booster. The spacecraft had the specific task of mapping the Van Alen radiation belts at higher inclinations than that achieved by US satellites of the time (60 degrees vs 30 degrees latitude). Design work began in July 1960.

1961 May 13 - . LV Family: N1. Launch Vehicle: N1.
  • Soviet response to Apollo program - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Chelomei. Spacecraft: Kosmoplan; Raketoplan; Elektron-A; Elektron-B; LK-1. Soviet Decree 'On the Revision of Plans for Space Objects for Accomplishing Goals of Defence Designations--heavy boosters, course of work on Elektron, and suspension of work of work on the Kosmoplan and Raketoplan with continuation of new Raketoplan work' was issued. The decree set the end of 1965 as the date for the first launch of the N1. It also authorised Chelomei to stop work on Kosmoplan interplanetary probes and instead concentrate on a specific Raketoplan design - the LK-1 manned lunar flyby spacecraft.

1964 January 30 - . 09:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Elektron 2 - . Payload: 2D s/n 2. Mass: 444 kg (978 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Program: Elektron. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Elektron-B. Decay Date: 1997-04-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 748 . COSPAR: 1964-006B. Apogee: 62,811 km (39,028 mi). Perigee: 5,611 km (3,486 mi). Inclination: 60.2000 deg. Period: 1,356.40 min. Studied outer Van Allen belt. Electron I and II launched by a single carrier rocket. Electron I: simultaneous study of the Earth's inner and outer radiation belts, cosmic rays and upper atmosphere. Electron II: simultaneous study of the Earth's inner and outer radiation belts, cosmic rays and outer space.

1964 July 10 - . 21:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8K72K.
  • Elektron 4 - . Payload: 2D s/n 4. Mass: 444 kg (978 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Program: Elektron. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Elektron-B. Decay Date: 1983-10-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 830 . COSPAR: 1964-038B. Apogee: 66,269 km (41,177 mi). Perigee: 447 km (277 mi). Inclination: 60.8000 deg. Period: 1,313.80 min. Summary: Studied outer Van Allen belt. Electron 3 and 4 launched by a single carrier rocket. Simultaneous study of the inner and outer radiation belts of the earth, cosmic rays and the upper atmosphere. .

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