Encyclopedia Astronautica

Ukrainian military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Cancelled in the early 1990s. The Tselina-3 third generation two-tier ELINT satellite system was developed in parallel with Tselina-2.

Over a decade of research was followed by a series of component flight tests aboard other satellites in 1986 - 1989. However the satellite itself never reached the flight test stage before the fall of the Soviet Union. The manufacturer was in the Ukraine, and the project was cancelled in the 1990's.

Work began in the 1970's, with research on a variety of new systems. Experimental instruments were flight-tested aboard Tselina-D missions. Two flight tests in 1986-1987 proved the effectiveness of the technical solutions. In 1985 the technical project for an operation system was begun. High orbit tests in 1988 showed the system would have to be deployed in two systems: a constellation of satellites in orbits of 800 to 2000 km altitude; and a Space System for Radio Relay and Combat, consisting of 1 to 2 satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The third generation satellites were designed by NPO Palma of Minradiopribor, with KB Yuzhnoye providing the satellite bus. The geosynchronous satellites, developed from the Luch relay satellites, were by NPO PM MOM. Flight trials of specialized relay payloads for use with the ELINT satellites of the VMF and DOS were tested during two launches in 1989.

Gross mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb).

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Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Yuzhnoye Ukrainian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Yangel Design Bureau, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. More...

  • Tarasenko, M, "30 let sevodnya - pervovo sputnikovo perkhvali", Novosti kosmonavtiki, No. 23/24, 1998, p. 40..

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