Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya-1



molnika.jpg
Molniya-1
Credit: © Mark Wade
qmolorbt.jpg
Molniya orbit
Credit: RKK Energia
Russian military communications satellite. 37 launches, 1964.06.04 (Molniya-1 s/n 2 Failure) to 1975.09.02 (Molniya 1-31). This was the first Soviet communications satellite, using the twelve-hour elliptical orbit later dubbed a 'Molniya orbit'.

Korolev's OKB-1 began development of Molniya in 1960. It was initially intended as an experimental spacecraft to test the utility of such a satellite for command and control of the armed forces. Existing tropospheric communication Gorizont ground stations required minimal modification for use with Molniya. Initial flights proved Moscow-Vladivostok strategic communications in 1965 to 1967. It quickly proved the new technologies of automatic satellite control and three-axis stabilization. The design was so successful that it was put into production for governmental and military use, and subsequent modifications continued in service well into the 21st Century.

Molniya orbits required less rocket power to achieve than a geosynchronous orbit, and were better suited to communications with northern latitudes. Since satellites in such an orbit move very slowly at apogee, they appear to 'hover' for hours at a time over northern latitudes. The disadvantage was that the sending/receiving dish must track the satellite, whereas for a geosynchronous satellite a fixed dish could be used.

Preliminary work on the Molniya-1 communications satellite began in 1960. Full development was authorized by government decree on 30 October 1960. Three such satellites could provide long-distance communications coverage for the entire Soviet Union. Original designed life was 1.5 to 2.0 years. Development was completed in May 1963.

The satellite consisted of a hermetically sealed, pressurized main section with 2.5 cubic meters internal volume. This kept the electronic components at a stable temperature during the day-night cycle. The spacecraft's orientation system pointed the solar panels at the sun and the antenna at the earth during communications session. Gyroscopic stabilizers pointed the spacecraft to within 10 degrees. An optical sensor was used for antenna pointing. The Alfa on-board retransmitter operated on the 10 m band in both simplex and duplex modes.

Main propulsion was provided with an engine of 200 kgf, with AK-20 nitric acid and UDMH propellants. Total impulse delivered by the three-chamber motor was 8,000 kg-sec, with a specific impulse of 290 seconds. The spacecraft had a span of 8 m across its solar panels and an initial mass on-orbit of 1650 kg.

The first two launches, on 2 January and 6 June 1964, were unsuccessful. The first successful launch only came on 14 October 1965. After checks the spacecraft began work in January 1966. The last communications session came on 18 February 1966; thereafter the solar cells deteriorated to the point of inoperability. The first spacecraft completed 30 hours worth of communications in 113 sessions.

The system was transferred from Korolev's OKB to Reshetnev in Krasnoyarsk for further development and production.

In 1968 operational use of Molniya 1 began. It provided strategic control of the RSVN, Long Range Aviation, Navy, through use of the satellite system Molniya 1-Korund and the Ruchey communications system. The externally similar but internally upgraded Molniya 1T replaced the original model in production from 1975. The full constellation in Soviet times consisted of eight spacecraft, in four orbital planes, with ascending node / 'hovering' points above 60 degrees North every 90 degrees from 10 degrees East.

Characteristics

RCS total impulse: 78 kgf-sec. Electric System: 1.30 average kW.

AKA: 11F67.
Gross mass: 1,650 kg (3,630 lb).
Height: 4.40 m (14.40 ft).
Span: 8.20 m (26.90 ft).
Thrust: 1.96 kN (441 lbf).
Specific impulse: 290 s.
First Launch: 1964.06.04.
Last Launch: 1975.09.02.
Number: 37 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • KDU-414 Isayev Nitric acid/UDMH rocket engine. 1.961 kN. Molniya 1, Mars 1, Venera 1, Zond 2-3 maneuvering engine. Out of Production. Spacecraft maneuvering engine. Isp=272s. More...

See also
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. More...
  • 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...
  • Molniya 8K78 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Four stage derivative of the R-7 ICBM developed on a crash-program basis in 1960 for Soviet lunar and planetary deep space probe missions. The third stage found later use in the Voskhod and Soyuz launchers. By the 1970's mature versions of the launch vehicle were used almost entirely for launch of Molniya communications satellites and Oko missile early warning spacecraft into elliptical, 12-hour earth orbits. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya, in variants with Blocks ML, 2BL, or SO-L third stages according to payload. More...
  • Proton The Proton launch vehicle has been the medium-lift workhorse of the Soviet and Russian space programs for over forty years. Although constantly criticized within Russia for its use of toxic and ecologically-damaging storable liquid propellants, it has out-lasted all challengers, and no replacement is in sight. Development of the Proton began in 1962 as a two-stage vehicle that could be used to launch large military payloads or act as a ballistic missile with a 100 megaton nuclear warhead. The ICBM was cancelled in 1965, but development of a three-stage version for the crash program to send a Soviet man around the moon began in 1964. The hurried development caused severe reliability problems in early production. But these were eventually solved, and from the 1970's the Proton was used to launch all Russian space stations, medium- and geosynchronous orbit satellites, and lunar and planetary probes. More...
  • Proton-K/DM Russian orbital launch vehicle. The original four stage Proton / Block D configuration was used until 1976, at which time it was replaced by a modernised version equipped with N2O4/UDMH verniers for precise placement of payloads in geosynchronous orbit and its own self-contained guidance unit. This was accepted into military service in 1978 with the first Raduga launch. The stage was first developed for launch of gesynchronous military communications and early warning satellites (Raduga, Ekran, Gorizont, Potok, SPRN). Its later versions continue in use for launch of MEO and geosynchronous comsats, and was Russia's most successful commercial launcher. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...
  • Reshetnev Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Reshetnev Design Bureau, Krasnoyarsk-26/Zhelenogorsk, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
Associated Propellants
  • Nitric acid/UDMH Drawing on the German World War II Wasserfall rocket, nitric acid (HNO3) became the early storable oxidiser of choice for missiles and upper stages of the 1950's. To overcome various problems with its use, it was necessary to combine the nitric acid with N2O4 and passivation compounds. These formulae were considered extremely secret at the time. By the late 1950's it was apparent that N2O4 by itself was a better oxidiser. Therefore nitric acid was almost entirely replaced by pure N2O4 in storable liquid fuel rocket engines developed after 1960. Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine ((CH3)2NNH2) became the storable liquid fuel of choice by the mid-1950's. Development of UDMH in the Soviet Union began in 1949. It is used in virtually all storable liquid rocket engines except for some orbital manoeuvring engines in the United States, where MMH has been preferred due to a slightly higher density and performance. 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 5", Spaceflight, 1998, Volume 40, page 85.
  • "Otmenenniy Start "Molniya-M"", Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 1997, Issue 1, page 29.
  • Voevodin, Sergey A, "Sergey A. Voevodin's Reports", VSA072 - Space Apparatus, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Vladimirov, A, "Tablitsa zapuskov RN 'Proton' i 'Proton K'", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 10, page 25.
  • Chertok, Boris Yevseyevich, Raketi i lyudi, Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 1994-1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Kamanin, N P, Skritiy kosmos, Infortext, Moscow, 1995.
  • Melnik, T G, Voenno-Kosmicheskiy Siliy, Nauka, Moscow, 1997..
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, The Soviet Space Race With Apollo, University Press of Florida, 2003.
  • NASA Report, AES ''MOLNIYA-1'' TRANSMITS THE EARTH'S IMAGE, Web Address when accessed: here.

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...
  • Plesetsk Plesetsk was the Soviet Union's northern cosmodrome, used for polar orbit launches of mainly military satellites, and was at one time the busiest launch centre in the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union put the main launch site of Baikonur in Kazakh territory. It now seems that once the Proton rocket is retired, Baikonur will be abandoned and Plesetsk will be Russia's primary launch centre. Upgrades to existing launch facilities will allow advanced versions of the Soyuz rocket and the new Angara launch vehicle to be launched from Plesetsk. Plesetsk's major drawback was the lower net payload in geosynchronous orbit from a northern latitude launch site. However Russia is planning to remove the disadvantage by looping geosynchronous satellites around the moon, using lunar gravity to make the necessary orbital plane change. More...

Molniya-1 Chronology


1960 October 30 - .
  • Full development of Molniya-1 communications satellite authorised by government decree. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Summary: Three such satellites could provide long-distance communications coverage for the entire Soviet Union. Original designed life was 1.5 to 2.0 years. Development was completed in May 1963..

1961 October 30 - .
  • Molniya-1 and Meteor-1 satellites authorised. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Molniya-1; Molniya-2; Meteor. 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.

1964 June 4 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 R103-34. FAILURE: At T+104 sec the tank draining of core Block A failed due to jamming of the servo-motored throttle and break down of the motor's circuit The launcher was destroyed on impact downrange from the pad.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Molniya-1 s/n 2 Failure - . Payload: Molniya-1 s/n 2. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. COSPAR: F640604A. Summary: Unsuccessful first attempt to launch Molniya communications satellite..

1964 August 22 - . 07:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 R103-36.
  • Cosmos 41 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 2004-04-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 869 . COSPAR: 1964-049D. Apogee: 39,169 km (24,338 mi). Perigee: 1,023 km (635 mi). Inclination: 68.4000 deg. Period: 714.50 min. Successful launch of first Soviet communications satellite. This is the second Molniya launch attempt. (the first was a launch failure). The failure of the antennae to deploy means the spacecraft can only be tested in a limited manner and cannot be used for the planned relay of television.

1965 April 23 - . 01:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 U103-35.
  • Molniya 1-01 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1979-08-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 1324 . COSPAR: 1965-030A. Apogee: 39,300 km (24,400 mi). Perigee: 538 km (334 mi). Inclination: 65.5000 deg. Period: 707.30 min. Summary: First announced launch of Soviet communications satellite. Television programme transmission and long range two way multi channel telephone and telegraph communications. Orbital characteristics after correction of 2 May 1965..

1965 October 14 - . 19:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 U103-37.
  • Molniya 1-02 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1967-03-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 1621 . COSPAR: 1965-080A. Apogee: 39,921 km (24,805 mi). Perigee: 487 km (302 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 718.80 min. Summary: France - USSR communications link. Second communications satellite 'Molniya-1'. Television programme transmission and long-range, two-way multi-channel telephone, phototelegraph and telegraph communications..

1966 March 27 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M N103-38. FAILURE: The booster failed during ascent. The launcher and payload broke up on impact with the ground.. Failed Stage: U.
  • Molniya-1 s/n 5 Failure - . Payload: Molniya-1 s/n 5. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. COSPAR: F660327A.

1966 April 25 - . 07:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M N103-39.
  • Molniya 1-03 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1973-06-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 2151 . COSPAR: 1966-035A. Apogee: 39,414 km (24,490 mi). Perigee: 546 km (339 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 709.80 min. Summary: Also transmitted cloud cover images. Television programme transmission and long-range two-way multi-channel telephone, phototelegraph and telegraph communicaitons. .

September 1966 - . LV Family: N1; R-9; RT-2.
  • N1 two-launch moon scenario proposed - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Bushuyev. Program: Lunar L3; Lunar L1; Soyuz. Spacecraft: LK; Soyuz 7K-LOK; Soyuz 7K-OK; Soyuz 7K-L1; Molniya-1. Bushuyev proposed a two launch variation on Korolev's single-launch scheme. The increased-payload version of the N1 with six additional engines was not planned to fly until vehicle 3L. 1L and 2L were to be technology articles for ground test with only the original 24 engine configuration. At that time the first Apollo test flight was planned by the end of 1966, and the US moon landing no later than 1969. The Soviets expected the first test of their LK lander in 1969, and concluded they could not expect to land a Soviet man on the moon until 1972. Additional Details: here....

1966 October 20 - . 07:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M N103-40.
  • Molniya 1-04 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1968-09-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 2501 . COSPAR: 1966-092A. Apogee: 39,689 km (24,661 mi). Perigee: 500 km (310 mi). Inclination: 65.3000 deg. Period: 714.40 min. Summary: Television programme transmission and long-range two-way multi-channel telephone, phototelegraph and telegraph communicaitons..

1967 May 24 - . 22:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-05 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1971-11-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 2822 . COSPAR: 1967-052A. Apogee: 35,690 km (22,170 mi). Perigee: 90 km (55 mi). Inclination: 64.6000 deg. Period: 627.00 min. Summary: Further development and experimental operation of long-range two-way television and telephone-telegraph radio-communication..

1967 August 31 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1/LC31?. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Cosmos 174 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1968-12-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 2925 . COSPAR: 1967-082A. Apogee: 39,796 km (24,728 mi). Perigee: 430 km (260 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 715.00 min. Summary: Probable commsat failure. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space..

1967 October 3 - . 05:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-06 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1969-03-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 2973 . COSPAR: 1967-095A. Apogee: 39,709 km (24,673 mi). Perigee: 508 km (315 mi). Inclination: 64.7000 deg. Period: 714.90 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1967 October 22 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-07 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1969-12-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 3008 . COSPAR: 1967-101A. Apogee: 39,709 km (24,673 mi). Perigee: 508 km (315 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 714.90 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 April 21 - . 04:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-08 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1974-01-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 3209 . COSPAR: 1968-035A. Apogee: 40,099 km (24,916 mi). Perigee: 405 km (251 mi). Inclination: 64.0000 deg. Period: 720.80 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 July 5 - . 15:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-09 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1971-05-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 3310 . COSPAR: 1968-057A. Apogee: 39,806 km (24,734 mi). Perigee: 396 km (246 mi). Inclination: 65.1000 deg. Period: 714.70 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 October 5 - . 00:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-10 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1976-07-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3469 . COSPAR: 1968-085A. Apogee: 39,596 km (24,603 mi). Perigee: 498 km (309 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 712.50 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1968 December 16 - . 09:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Cosmos 260 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1973-07-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 3619 . COSPAR: 1968-115A. Apogee: 39,573 km (24,589 mi). Perigee: 506 km (314 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 712.20 min. Summary: Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space..

1969 April 11 - . 02:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-11 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1974-04-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 3885 . COSPAR: 1969-035A. Apogee: 39,595 km (24,603 mi). Perigee: 483 km (300 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 712.10 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1969 July 22 - . 12:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-12 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1971-06-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 4043 . COSPAR: 1969-061A. Apogee: 39,526 km (24,560 mi). Perigee: 496 km (308 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 711.00 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1970 February 19 - . 18:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/4. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-13 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1975-09-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 4336 . COSPAR: 1970-013A. Apogee: 39,170 km (24,330 mi). Perigee: 461 km (286 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 703.10 min. Summary: The first launch of the 8K78M vehicle from the Plesetsk launch site. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1970 June 26 - . 03:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-14 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1976-02-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 4430 . COSPAR: 1970-049A. Apogee: 39,172 km (24,340 mi). Perigee: 459 km (285 mi). Inclination: 65.5000 deg. Period: 703.10 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1970 September 29 - . 08:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-15 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1976-03-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 4569 . COSPAR: 1970-077A. Apogee: 39,296 km (24,417 mi). Perigee: 492 km (305 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 706.30 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1970 November 27 - . 15:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-16 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1975-11-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 4779 . COSPAR: 1970-101A. Apogee: 39,895 km (24,789 mi). Perigee: 463 km (287 mi). Inclination: 65.5000 deg. Period: 717.80 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1970 December 25 - . 03:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-17 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1975-12-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 4829 . COSPAR: 1970-114A. Apogee: 39,881 km (24,780 mi). Perigee: 474 km (294 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 717.80 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1971 July 28 - . 03:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-18 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1977-07-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 5367 . COSPAR: 1971-064A. Apogee: 39,877 km (24,778 mi). Perigee: 478 km (297 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 717.80 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1971 December 19 - . 22:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-19 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1977-04-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 5712 . COSPAR: 1971-115A. Apogee: 39,126 km (24,311 mi). Perigee: 522 km (324 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 703.50 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1972 April 4 - . 20:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/4. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-20 - . Payload: Molniya-1 s/n 27. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1974-01-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 5927 . COSPAR: 1972-025A. Apogee: 40,006 km (24,858 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 65.7000 deg. Period: 717.60 min. Summary: Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network..

1972 October 14 - . 06:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-21 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1977-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 6231 . COSPAR: 1972-081A. Apogee: 34,684 km (21,551 mi). Perigee: 494 km (306 mi). Inclination: 65.4000 deg. Period: 615.40 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network..

1972 December 2 - . 04:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-22 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1976-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 6294 . COSPAR: 1972-095A. Apogee: 39,608 km (24,611 mi). Perigee: 462 km (287 mi). Inclination: 64.0000 deg. Period: 712.00 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1973 February 3 - . 05:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-23 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1977-10-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 6356 . COSPAR: 1973-007A. Apogee: 39,602 km (24,607 mi). Perigee: 476 km (295 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 712.20 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1973 August 30 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-24 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1979-12-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 6805 . COSPAR: 1973-061A. Apogee: 39,893 km (24,788 mi). Perigee: 463 km (287 mi). Inclination: 65.5000 deg. Period: 717.80 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1973 November 14 - . 20:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-25 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1979-05-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 6932 . COSPAR: 1973-089A. Apogee: 39,607 km (24,610 mi). Perigee: 461 km (286 mi). Inclination: 64.0000 deg. Period: 712.00 min. Summary: Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network. .

1973 November 30 - . 13:08 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-26 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1985-06-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 6958 . COSPAR: 1973-097A. Apogee: 40,829 km (25,369 mi). Perigee: 619 km (384 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 740.00 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1974 April 20 - . 20:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-27 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1983-11-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 7260 . COSPAR: 1974-023A. Apogee: 39,752 km (24,700 mi). Perigee: 606 km (376 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 717.80 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1974 July 29 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/DM. LV Configuration: Proton-K/DM 287-01.
  • Molniya 1-S - . Payload: Molniya 1 s/n 38. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Completed Operations Date: 1974-07-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 7392 . COSPAR: 1974-060A. Apogee: 35,848 km (22,274 mi). Perigee: 35,738 km (22,206 mi). Inclination: 14.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.40 min. Evidently a unique experimental satellite. Arrangements for experimental television broadcasts and establishment of long-range radio-communications. As of 29 August 2001 located at 104.72 deg E drifting at 0.115 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 41.05E drifting at 0.029W degrees per day.

1974 October 24 - . 12:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-28 - . Payload: Molniya-1 s/n 26. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1985-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 7480 . COSPAR: 1974-081A. Apogee: 40,633 km (25,248 mi). Perigee: 607 km (377 mi). Inclination: 62.8000 deg. Period: 735.80 min. Summary: Decay date suspect Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of a system of long range telephone-telegraph radiocommunication, and transmission of USSR Central Television programmes to the stations of the Orbita network..

1975 April 29 - . 10:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-29 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. USAF Sat Cat: 7780 . COSPAR: 1975-036A. Apogee: 38,379 km (23,847 mi). Perigee: 1,983 km (1,232 mi). Inclination: 63.8000 deg. Period: 717.90 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network..

1975 June 5 - . 01:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-30 - . Payload: Molniya-1 s/n 24. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1987-08-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 7903 . COSPAR: 1975-049A. Apogee: 38,307 km (23,802 mi). Perigee: 121 km (75 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 679.10 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network..

1975 September 2 - . 13:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Molniya 1-31 - . Payload: Molniya-1. Mass: 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Molniya. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Molniya-1. Decay Date: 1985-11-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 8187 . COSPAR: 1975-079A. Apogee: 40,598 km (25,226 mi). Perigee: 633 km (393 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 735.60 min. Summary: Uncertain if Molniya-1T model was Molniya-1 or Molniya-1T. Operation of the long-range telephone and telegraph radiocommunications system in the USSR; transmission of television programmes to stations in the Orbita network..

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