Encyclopedia Astronautica

Russian earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1978.12.23, Cosmos 1066. Based on the Meteor-1 bus but carried special optical instruments for the observation of lasers on Earth.

The craft carried an SPD-50 electric thruster like those on Meteor-Priroda to allow its orbit to be adjusted to pass over the experiment sites. The satellite operated for two years. The detection of light sources from the ground was used by Astrofizika essentially as a navigation device, to give an accurate measurement of the ability of the ion engine to allow overflight of a precise location.

AKA: 11F653.
Gross mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb).
First Launch: 1978.12.23.
Number: 1 .

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...
  • Vostok 8A92M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Second generation space systems required injection of lighter but higher-altitude Meteor and other satellite payloads into sun-synchronous orbits. The 8A92M version was developed for this purpose. First use was the Meteor launch on 29 June 1977. 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...

  • 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.
  • Voevodin, Sergey A, "Sergey A. Voevodin's Reports", VSA072 - Space Apparatus, 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...

Astrofizika Chronology

1978 December 23 - . 08:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Cosmos 1066 - . Payload: Astrofizika s/n 1. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Astrofizika. USAF Sat Cat: 11165 . COSPAR: 1978-121A. Apogee: 890 km (550 mi). Perigee: 819 km (508 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.00 min. Summary: Probable failure. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

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