Encyclopedia Astronautica
Orlets


Sixth-generation reconnaisance satellite. After returning multiple film capsules, the spacecraft is deorbited.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Orlets-2 Russian military surveillance satellite. 4 launches, 1986.10.22 (GVM) to 2000.09.25 (Cosmos 2372). More...
  • Orlets-1 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. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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...
  • Zenit-2 Ukrainian orbital launch vehicle. Two-stage version that continued to be used for launch of Russian military satellites tailored to it after the fall of the Soviet Union. 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 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 Chronology


1986 October 22 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC45/1. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-2.
  • GVM - . Payload: Orlets-2 Mass Model. Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Orlets. Spacecraft: Orlets-2. Decay Date: 1988-04-08 . USAF Sat Cat: 17043 . COSPAR: 1986-080B. Apogee: 2,501 km (1,554 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 112.53 min. Summary: Mass model of Orlets-2 reconnaissance satellite..

1987 February 14 - . 08:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC45/1. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-2.
  • Cosmos 1820 - . Payload: Orlets-2 Mass Model. Mass: 15,000 kg (33,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Orlets. Spacecraft: Orlets-2. Decay Date: 1987-03-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 17523 . COSPAR: 1987-016A. Apogee: 250 km (150 mi). Perigee: 178 km (110 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Summary: Launch vehicle test. Mass model of Orlets-2 reconnaissance satellite..

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..

1994 August 26 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC45/1. LV Family: Zenit. Launch Vehicle: Zenit-2.
  • Cosmos 2290 - . Payload: Orlets-2 no. 1. Mass: 13,000 kg (28,000 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Program: Orlets. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orlets-2. Decay Date: 1995-04-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 23218 . COSPAR: 1994-053A. Apogee: 392 km (243 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 90.25 min. Summary: Only flight of Orlets-2 long-duration military reconnaissance satellite with 22 film-return capsules..

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.

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