Encyclopedia Astronautica
Molniya orbit


Category of spacecraft.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Molniya-1 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'. More...
  • Jumpseat American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 7 launches, 1971.03.21 (Jumpseat 1) to 1983.07.31 (Jumpseat 7). Jumpseat signals intelligence satellites were launched by Titan 3B or 34B into highly elliptic Molniya-type orbits. More...
  • Molniya-2 Russian communications satellite. 20 launches, 1971.11.24 (Molniya 2-01) to 2005.06.21 (Molniya 2-17). Molniya-2 was the elliptical orbit component of the Soviet YeSSS communications satellite system. More...
  • Oko Russian military early warning satellite. 86 launches, 1972.09.19 (Cosmos 520) to 2010.09.30. Work on the Soviet Union's first infrared ICBM launch detection satellite began in 1967 as the USK - space system to observe rocket launches. More...
  • Molniya-3 Russian communications satellite. 55 launches, 1974.11.21 (Molniya 3-01) to 2003.06.19 (Molniya 3-53). Development of the Molniya-2M communications satellite, later called Molniya-3, began in 1972. Flight trials began in November 1974. More...
  • Molniya-1T Russian military communications satellite. 63 launches, 1976.01.22 (Molniya) to 2004.02.18 (Molniya-1T). This was a modernized Molniya-1 communications satellite with the 'Beta' retransmitter which began flight tests in 1970. More...
  • SDS American military communications satellite. 7 launches, 1976.06.02 (SDS no. 1) to 1987.02.12 (USA 21). SDS satellites, put into Molniya-type orbits, provided data relay services for optical reconnaissance and other military spacecraft. More...
  • SDS-2 American military communications satellite. 4 launches, 1989.08.08 (USA 40) to 1996.07.03 (USA 125). More...
  • Mayak Russian communications satellite. Study 1990. In 1990 the Applied Mechanics NPO announced that it was developing a successor to the Molniya series of spacecraft. More...
  • Nord Russian communications satellite. Study 1992. The Lavochkin NPO proposed the Nord highly elliptical communications systems in 1992. Nord was described as a 4-satellite network of 2,300-kg spacecraft launched by the Rus booster. More...
  • Trumpet American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 3 launches, 1994.05.03 (USA 103) to 1997.11.08 (USA 136). More...
  • Tyulpan Comsat Russian communications satellite. By 1994 Lavochkin's Tyulpan system was promoted more heavily than its earlier Nord system. More...
  • CAPRICORN American military communications satellite. One launch, 1998.01.29, USA 137. There was no firm information on this classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. More...
  • SDS-3 American military communications satellite, provided data relay services for optical reconnaissance and other military spacecraft. Operational, first launch 2000.12.06. More...
  • Jumpseat-2 American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 2 launches, 2006.06.25 (USA 200) to 2008.03.13 (USA 200). More...
  • Meridian Russian new-generation military 12-hour elliptical orbit communications satellite designed to replace the Molniya series. Operational, first launch 2006.12.24. More...

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