Encyclopedia Astronautica
Pion


Russian earth atmosphere satellite. 6 launches, 1989.05.25 (Pion) to 1992.08.19 (Pion 2). Deployed from Resurs F1, which carried two passive separable "Pion" probes to investigate upper atmospheric density.

Gross mass: 67 kg (147 lb).
First Launch: 1989.05.25.
Last Launch: 1992.08.19.
Number: 6 .

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...

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...

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.
  • NASA GSFC Orbital Parameters,
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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...
  • Plesetsk LC16/2 R-7 launch complex. Complex 16 was the second R-7A ICBM launch complex to become operationall at Plesetsk, in 1960. In 1969, Pad 2 was cannibalized to upgrade the Area 1 facility in Baikonur. Pad 2 was not again brought into operation until 1979. It was then completely renovated as a space launch pad for Molniya 8K78M/Soyuz 11A511U class vehicles. The first launch was on 19 February 1981, and it continued in use in this role into the 21st Century. More...

Pion Chronology


1989 May 25 - . 08:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC43/3. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Pion - . Payload: Pion-1. Mass: 78 kg (171 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Pion. Decay Date: 1989-07-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 20056 . COSPAR: 1989-038C. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi). Perigee: 132 km (82 mi). Inclination: 82.3000 deg. Period: 87.30 min. Deployed from Resurs F1 6/9/89; passive atmosphere research. Resurs-F: Investigation of the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the Soviet economy and international cooperation. Satellite carries two passive separable 'Pion' probes to investigate upper atmospheric density.
  • Pion - . Payload: Pion-2. Mass: 78 kg (171 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Pion. Decay Date: 1989-07-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 20060 . COSPAR: 1989-038D. Apogee: 147 km (91 mi). Perigee: 140 km (80 mi). Inclination: 82.3000 deg. Period: 87.40 min. Deployed from Resurs F1 6/9/89; passive atmosphere research. Resurs-F: Investigation of the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the Soviet economy and international cooperation. Satellite carries two passive separable 'Pion' probes to investigate upper atmospheric density.

1989 July 18 - . 09:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC16/2. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Pion - . Payload: Pion-4. Mass: 78 kg (171 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Pion. Decay Date: 1989-09-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 20161 . COSPAR: 1989-055D. Apogee: 271 km (168 mi). Perigee: 254 km (157 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 89.76 min. Deployed from Resurs F3 8/7/89; passive atmospheric research. Resurs-F: Investigation of the natural resources of the earth in the interests of various branches of the Soviet economy and international cooperation. Satellite carries two passive separable 'Pion' probes to investigate upper atmospheric density.
  • Pion - . Payload: Pion-3. Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Spacecraft: Pion. Decay Date: 1989-09-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 20160 . COSPAR: 1989-055C. Apogee: 271 km (168 mi). Perigee: 254 km (157 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 89.76 min.

1992 August 19 - . 10:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC16/2. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Pion 1 - . Payload: Pion-Germes-1. Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Pion. Decay Date: 1992-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 22099 . COSPAR: 1992-056C. Apogee: 229 km (142 mi). Perigee: 219 km (136 mi). Inclination: 82.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Summary: Deployed from Resurs F16; examined how upper atmosphere affects spacecraft reentries. .
  • Pion 2 - . Payload: Pion-Germes-2. Mass: 50 kg (110 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Atmosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Pion. Decay Date: 1992-09-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 22100 . COSPAR: 1992-056D. Apogee: 229 km (142 mi). Perigee: 218 km (135 mi). Inclination: 82.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Summary: Deployed from Resurs F16; examined how upper atmosphere affects spacecraft reentries. .

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