MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)
- Soviet Weather Satellite to Fall to Earth
- Russia plans to restore its weather satellite network by 2030
- Russia launches Soyuz rocket with Meteor-M weather satellite
Meteor 1-1, the Soviet Union’s first fully operational weather satellite, fell in Antarctica on Tuesday after more than four decades in orbit, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“According to data provided by the Main Center for Space Reconnaissance, which is part of Russia’s Space Forces, fragments of the Meteor 1-1 satellite entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 02:17 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday [22:17 GMT Monday],” Space Forces spokesman Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.
The official added that the defunct satellite fell in the Queen Maud Land region of Antarctica, about 690 kilometers (430 miles) from Argentinian research station of Belgrano II.
The Meteor satellite series was developed in the Soviet Union during the 1960s. On March 26, 1969, a Vostok rocket launched Meteor 1-1, the very first version of the Soviet Meteor satellite network, into orbit. The satellite terminated operations in July 1970.
Weighing between 1,200 and 1,400 kilograms, the Meteor 1-1 spacecraft was originally placed in orbit at an altitude of 650 km. Two solar panels were automatically oriented toward the sun to provide the spacecraft with the maximum amount of solar power.
Meteor 1-1 provided near-global observations of the earth's weather systems, cloud cover, ice and snow fields, and reflected and emitted radiation from the dayside and nightside of the earth-atmosphere system for operational use by the Soviet meteorological service.
Some of the processed data and TV pictures from the satellite were distributed to meteorological centers around the world.
The Russian government is planning to restore the Soviet network of weather satellites, which could help monitor weather and climate conditions across the country's nine time zones. Currently, Russia has to use meteorological data from U.S. and European weather agencies.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Amidst Amish Past, Russia’s Lokomotiv Sees Hockey Future
Infographics: Powerful Ship-Borne Laser System
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.