Encyclopedia Astronautica
Orlets-1



yanmulti.jpg
Yantar multi-return
Yantar bus reconnaissance satellite with multiple re-entry capsules. This is believed to be layout of Orlets-1. Orlets-2 must have a considerably extended bus to accommodate even more capsules.
Russian military surveillance satellite. 8 launches, 1989.07.18 (Cosmos 2031) to 2006.09.14 (Cosmos 2423). Multi-purpose satellite, designed for both close-look and survey missions, equipped with a panoramic camera, equipped with 8 film return capsules.

The spacecraft was launched by the Soyuz-U2 launch vehicle, and had a design life of 60 days

Following evaluation of flight trials in April-May 1977 it was concluded that the Yantar-2K was not capable of providing strategic warning of attack. Therefore three additional variants were developed, one of them the wide-spectrum detail and survey satellite Orlets. This featured a panoramic camera and drew on features of an existing draft project designated Yantar-6K. The redesigned spacecraft would be expandable, with Phase 1 (Orlets-1) being launched by the Soyuz-U2 launch vehicle, equipped with 8 film return capsules and having a design life of 60 days. Phase 2 (Orlets-2) would be launched by the new, much more powerful Zenit launch vehicle, be equipped with 22 return capsules, and had a 180 day design life. The draft project was completed in the late 1980's; flight trials began in 1989 and system did not go into service until the 1990's. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, the satellite had to be switched to the less-capable Soyuz-U launch vehicle and the flight duration was extended to 100 to 120 days (presumably at the expense of fewer return capsules). As in the case of other Yantars, after returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited. Typical orbital profile was an inclination 64.9 degrees with an altitude of 207-323 km. Only six were flown between the first flight Cosmos 2031 (1989) and the latest (Cosmos 2343, 1997).

AKA: Yantar FR6; Yantar-6K; 17F12; Don.
Gross mass: 6,530 kg (14,390 lb).
First Launch: 1989.07.18.
Last Launch: 2006.09.14.
Number: 8 .

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...
  • Soyuz 11A511U Russian standardised man-rated orbital launch vehicle derived from the original R-7 ICBM of 1957. It has been launched in greater numbers than any orbital launch vehicle in history. Not coincidentally, it has been the most reliable as well. After over 40 years service in Russia, ESA built a new launch pad at Kourou which will keep it in service from three launch sites in three countries well into the mid-21st Century. More...
  • Soyuz 11A511U2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Soyuz 11A511U2 used synthetic kerosene ('Sintin') in first stage for launch of premium reconnaisance satellite and manned payloads requiring just a bit more payload than the standard 11A511 could offer. Further use of the 11A511U2 abandoned in 1996 due to Sintin production stoppage. Later Soyuz spacecraft launched on standard Soyuz, with reduced payload and rendezvous with Mir in lower orbit accepted. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...
  • Kozlov Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Kozlov Central Specialized Design Bureau, Samara, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Orlets Sixth-generation reconnaisance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft is deorbited. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Voevodin, Sergey A, "Sergey A. Voevodin's Reports", VSA072 - Space Apparatus, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • "Rossiya. V Polyote 'Kosmos-2343'", Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 1997, Issue 10, page 35.
  • Grahn, Sven, Sven Grahn's Space History Pages, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Sorokin, V, "Yantarnaya istoriya-2", Novosti kosmonavtiki, No. 11, 1999, p. 71..

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...

Orlets-1 Chronology


1977 May - .
  • Council of Chief Designers reconsiders Yantar Soviet reconnsat designs - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Yantar-2K; Yantar-4K1; Yantar-4K2; Orlets-1; Orlets-2; Yantar-6K; Yantar-6KS; Yantar-4KS1. Flight trials of the Yantar-2K indicated the satellite was not capable of providing strategic warning of attack. The planned Yantar-6K series, in development since 1969, were overweight and behind schedule. A meeting of the Council of Chief Designers at TsSKB reviewed alternative approaches. It was decided that three variants of the Yantar-2K were to be developed, one of them the high resolution Yantar-4K.

1989 July 18 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Cosmos 2031 - . Payload: Orlets-1 no. 1. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 44.00 days. Decay Date: 1989-09-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 20136 . COSPAR: 1989-056A. Apogee: 264 km (164 mi). Perigee: 211 km (131 mi). Inclination: 50.4000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Summary: First launch of Orlets-1 long duration film return military reconnaissance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited..

1990 October 1 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Cosmos 2101 - . Payload: Orlets-1 no. 2. Mass: 6,700 kg (14,700 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 60.00 days. Decay Date: 1990-11-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 20828 . COSPAR: 1990-087A. Apogee: 304 km (188 mi). Perigee: 162 km (100 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. Summary: Long duration film return military reconnaissance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited..

1991 October 9 - . 13:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Cosmos 2163 - . Payload: Orlets-1 no. 3. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 58.00 days. Decay Date: 1991-12-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 21741 . COSPAR: 1991-071A. Apogee: 308 km (191 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Summary: Long duration film return military reconnaissance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited..

1992 December 22 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Cosmos 2225 - . Payload: Orlets-1 no. 4. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 58.00 days. Decay Date: 1993-02-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 22280 . COSPAR: 1992-091A. Apogee: 313 km (194 mi). Perigee: 169 km (105 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.30 min. Summary: Long duration film return military reconnaissance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited..

1993 September 7 - . 13:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U2.
  • Cosmos 2262 - . Payload: Orlets-1 no. 5. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 102.00 days. Decay Date: 1993-12-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 22789 . COSPAR: 1993-057A. Apogee: 261 km (162 mi). Perigee: 182 km (113 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Summary: Long duration film return military reconnaissance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited. First launch that demonstrated doubled operational life..

1997 May 15 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Cosmos 2343 - . Payload: Orlets-1 no. 6. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Manufacturer: Kozlov. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 123.00 days. Decay Date: 1997-09-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 24805 . COSPAR: 1997-024A. Apogee: 343 km (213 mi). Perigee: 179 km (111 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.40 min. Long duration film return military reconnaissance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft was deorbited. This satellite provided Russia with the photo reconnaisance capability after a break of 7 1/2 months. This launch came on the 40th anniversary of the first successful launch of the R-7 rocket, from which the Soyuz-U was derived. It was the 250th launch of the Soyuz-U from Baikonur, the 350th launch from Launch Complex 31, and the 666th launch of a Soyuz-U.

2003 August 12 - . 14:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Cosmos 2399 - . Mass: 6,750 kg (14,880 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Decay Date: 2003-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 27856 . COSPAR: 2003-035A. Apogee: 289 km (179 mi). Perigee: 180 km (110 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. Originally to have launched September 2002; June 2003. A Russian newspaper report (Kommersant, 13 August) stated that Cosmos 2399 was a Neman (Yantar-4KS1M) imaging satellite, which used data relay satellites to return CCD imagery rather than physically recovering film. However some Western observors, when Cosmos 2399 raised its perigee on August 14 to 205 km and lowered the apogee to 330 km, believed this was more like the standard operational orbit for an Orlets-1 Don 17F12 film-return capsule imaging satellite. This seemed confirmed when debris was tracked around the satellite later on, which was then said to be due to a failed film capsule recovery attempt. Destroyed in orbit on December 9 after completing its mission.

2006 September 14 - . 13:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Cosmos 2423 - . Mass: 6,750 kg (14,880 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: VKS. Manufacturer: Kozlov. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-1. Duration: 64.00 days. Decay Date: 2006-11-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 29402 . COSPAR: 2006-039A. Apogee: 306 km (190 mi). Perigee: 208 km (129 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Summary: Military surveillance; believed to be a derivative of the Orlets-1 multiple-capsule-return reconnaisance sattelite. Destroyed in orbit on November 17 at the end of its mission..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use