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Meteor-2
Part of Meteor Family
Meteor 2
Meteor 2
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian earth weather satellite. Successor to the Meteor-1 weather satellite. Meteorology satellite built by VNIIEM, Russia. Launched 1975 - 1993. Used SP-1 bus.

AKA: 11F632. Status: Operational 1975. First Launch: 1975-07-11. Last Launch: 1993-08-31. Number: 22 . Gross mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb).

The Meteor-2 had a longer design operational life (one year vs. six months) and the capability to transfer data to automatically to military APPI stations (Autonomous Points of Information Collection). A total of 21 launches of the functional satellite were conducted from 1975 to 1993.

Work began to develop solutions for second generation hydrographic and meteorological observation systems in 1967. Prime contractor was VNIIEM Mineletrotekhprom (A G Yosifiyan). In 1969 the TTZ specification was issued by the Ministry of Defense and the Main Hydro - meteorological Office of the Soviet Ministers. Draft project was completed in 1971. Due to difficulties by NPO Geofizika in development of spectrometer equipment, the first test unit was not completed until 1975. Flight trials under Major General V I Sheulov commenced in July 1975. The original Vostok-2M launch vehicle was replaced by the Tsiklon-3 from the twelfth spacecraft on. Flight trials led to the system being accepted into service on 21 June 1982. A total of 21 launches of the functional satellite were conducted from 1975 to 1993.

The 1,300 kg Meteor-2 had higher tolerance dynamic characteristics and featured numerous sensors, including:

  • Three-view optico-mechanical multi-spectral/infrared scanning television, with extended reception by ground stations at any point of each orbit. This consisted of two scanning, single-band (0.5-0.7 micrometer) telephotometers, one with a 2,100-km swath width and one with a swath width of 2,600 km, featured ground resolutions of 2 km and 1 km, respectively. A single band (8-12 micrometer) IR radiometer provided 8-km resolution over a 2,800-km swath.
  • Radiometric sensor for uninterrupted observation of electromagnetic fields in space. This included a radiation measurement complex.
  • Eight channel infrared radiometer for observation of global vertical temperature profiles. This radiometer covered bands between 11.1 and 18.7 micrometers and provided 37-m resolution over a 1,000-km swath.

The Meteor-2 was checked out prior to launch by the first automatic digital spacecraft test system in the Soviet Union. Meteors were launched into 81.2 degree orbits, at 850 km altitude, allowing a revisit of every location at 6 and 12 hour intervals by a constellation of three satellites at 90 to 180 degree intervals. Each satellite could observe 30,000 sq. km at a time. Data was processed at hydro-meteorological offices at Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Khabarovsk.

The Meteor series served the Ministry of Defense by providing:

  • Operational meteorological data for reconnaissance satellite scheduling
  • Operational weather data for use by the Armed Forces in local and global operations
  • Monitoring of radiation in near-earth space.

There were 50 APPI reception stations in the USSR, friendly Socialist countries, and in the equatorial regions of the earth. Each location could receive views from 3,000 to 5,000 km away. The well-known visible images were transmitted according to the international automatic picture transmission (APT) format and were available on carrier frequencies of 137.300 MHz, 137.400 MHz, and 137.850 MHz (FM, plus or minus 50 kHz bandwidth, two lines per second).

Flight trials began reasonable well, but delays were encountered due to the technological base at VNIIEM and Istra. Therefore a resolution of 4 June 1970 ordered VNIIEM to develop a parallel design of another meteosat for the hydrology office alone. This was not put into production. In its place a resolution of 16 December 1972 ordered development of a third generation system. This used the Planeta-S sensor package in the non-co-orbital Meteor-3 system plus the geostationary system Elektro. There were only seven launches of Meteor-3, and a single launch of Elektro, in 1994. Meteor-2 remained in service throughout this period and Meteor-3 was finally cancelled.

Meteor-2 satellites made possible the creation of atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, penetrating radiation profiles, sea-surface temperature readings, sea-ice condition charts, snow-cover limit charts, cloud and surface images in the visible and infrared, and cloud-top height charts.

Meteors were originally launched by the Vostok booster into nominal orbits of 850 km by 900 km at an inclination of 81.3 degrees. During 1982-1984 the Meteor satellites were transferred to the Tsyklon booster and a new orbital regime of 940 km by 960 km with an inclination of 82.5 degrees.


More at: Meteor-2.

Family: Earth, Earth weathersat, Medium earth orbit. Country: Russia. Launch Vehicles: R-7, Vostok 8A92M, Tsiklon, Tsiklon-3. Launch Sites: Plesetsk, Plesetsk LC32/2, Plesetsk LC32/1, Plesetsk LC32. Agency: MOM, VNIIEM. Bibliography: 102, 2, 3821, 445, 474, 6, 6701, 12824, 12825.
Photo Gallery

Meteor-2Meteor-2


Meteor 2-12Meteor 2-12
Credit: Manufacturer Image



1970 June 4 - .
  • Meteor-2 authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2.

    Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 'On standardised weather satellite system' was issued. The resolution also ordered VNIIEM to develop a parallel design of another meteosat for the hydrology office alone. This was not put into production.


1975 July 11 - . 04:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-01 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 1. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 8026 . COSPAR: 1975-064A. Apogee: 876 km (544 mi). Perigee: 844 km (524 mi). Inclination: 81.3000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Acquisition of meteorological information needed for use by the weather service. .

1977 January 6 - . 23:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-02 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 2. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 9661 . COSPAR: 1977-002A. Apogee: 893 km (554 mi). Perigee: 876 km (544 mi). Inclination: 81.3000 deg. Period: 102.70 min. Acquisition of meteorological information needed for use by the weather service..

1977 December 14 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-03 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 3. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 10514 . COSPAR: 1977-117A. Apogee: 874 km (543 mi). Perigee: 847 km (526 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Acquisition of meteorological information needed for use by the weather service..

1978 October 26 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32/2. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Cosmos 1045 - . Payload: Meteor-2 Mass Model. Mass: 2,670 kg (5,880 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 11084 . COSPAR: 1978-100A. Apogee: 1,705 km (1,059 mi). Perigee: 1,686 km (1,047 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 120.30 min. Probable oceanographic. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space. .

1979 March 1 - . 18:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-04 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 4. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 11288 . COSPAR: 1979-021A. Apogee: 872 km (541 mi). Perigee: 839 km (521 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.00 min. Acquisition of meteorological information required for use in the operational weather service with the aid of advanced equipment..

1979 October 31 - . 09:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-05 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 5. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 11605 . COSPAR: 1979-095A. Apogee: 881 km (547 mi). Perigee: 862 km (535 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.40 min. Acquisition of meteorological information required for use in the operational weather service with the aid of advanced equipment. .

1980 September 9 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-06 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 6. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 11962 . COSPAR: 1980-073A. Apogee: 886 km (550 mi). Perigee: 834 km (518 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 102.10 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. .

1981 May 14 - . 21:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-07 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 7. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 12456 . COSPAR: 1981-043A. Apogee: 888 km (551 mi). Perigee: 835 km (518 mi). Inclination: 81.3000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space..

1982 March 25 - . 09:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-08 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 8. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 13113 . COSPAR: 1982-025A. Apogee: 957 km (594 mi). Perigee: 933 km (579 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 103.90 min. Acquisition of meteorological information and data on fluxes of penetrating radiation in circumterrestrial space. .

1982 December 14 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-09 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 9. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 13718 . COSPAR: 1982-116A. Apogee: 882 km (548 mi). Perigee: 803 km (498 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Possible replacement for Meteor 2-6. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. .

1983 October 28 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Vostok 8A92M.
  • Meteor 2-10 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 10. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 14452 . COSPAR: 1983-109A. Apogee: 876 km (544 mi). Perigee: 742 km (461 mi). Inclination: 81.2000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. .

1984 July 5 - . 03:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/2. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-11 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 11. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 15099 . COSPAR: 1984-072A. Apogee: 957 km (594 mi). Perigee: 938 km (582 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. Tested some equipment for the Meteor-3 spacecraft..

1985 February 6 - . 21:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-12 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 12. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 15516 . COSPAR: 1985-013A. Apogee: 958 km (595 mi). Perigee: 932 km (579 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. .

1985 December 26 - . 01:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-13 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 13. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 16408 . COSPAR: 1985-119A. Apogee: 957 km (594 mi). Perigee: 936 km (581 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. .

1986 May 27 - . 09:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-14 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 14. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 16735 . COSPAR: 1986-039A. Apogee: 956 km (594 mi). Perigee: 937 km (582 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space. .

1987 January 5 - . 01:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/2. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-15 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 15. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 17290 . COSPAR: 1987-001A. Apogee: 956 km (594 mi). Perigee: 939 km (583 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space..

1987 August 18 - . 02:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-16 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 16. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 18312 . COSPAR: 1987-068A. Apogee: 958 km (595 mi). Perigee: 939 km (583 mi). Inclination: 82.6000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space..

1988 January 30 - . 11:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-17 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 17. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 18820 . COSPAR: 1988-005A. Apogee: 958 km (595 mi). Perigee: 934 km (580 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space..

1989 February 28 - . 04:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/2. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-18 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 18. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 19851 . COSPAR: 1989-018A. Apogee: 953 km (592 mi). Perigee: 937 km (582 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering meteorological information and data on penetrating radiation fluxes in circumterrestrial space..

1990 June 27 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-19 - . Payload: Meteor-2 no. 19. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MOM. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 20670 . COSPAR: 1990-057A. Apogee: 960 km (590 mi). Perigee: 937 km (582 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.00 min. Gathering round-the-clock meteorological information..

1990 September 28 - . 07:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. Launch Complex: Plesetsk LC32. Launch Pad: LC32/1. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-20 - . Payload: Meteor-2 s/n 25. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 20826 . COSPAR: 1990-086A. Apogee: 961 km (597 mi). Perigee: 939 km (583 mi). Inclination: 82.5000 deg. Period: 104.10 min. Gathering round-the-clock meteorological information..

1993 August 31 - . 04:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Plesetsk. LV Family: R-36. Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3.
  • Meteor 2-21 - . Payload: Meteor-2 s/n 24. Mass: 2,750 kg (6,060 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: RAKA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Meteor. Spacecraft: Meteor-2. USAF Sat Cat: 22782 . COSPAR: 1993-055A. Apogee: 967 km (600 mi). Perigee: 936 km (581 mi). Inclination: 82.6000 deg. Period: 104.10 min.

    Obtaining meteorological data and information on the radiation status of geovicinal outer space. The satellite included the Temisat German small space facility, which was separated from Meteor-2 on the seventh transit of the flight. Western interceptions of Meteor 2-21's transmissions indicated that the spacecraft did not perform as well as earlier vehicles in the series, particularly with regard to image quality and stable signal strength. The spacecraft operated through the end of 1994 on 137.400 MHz and 137.850 MHz, switching when required to avoid interference with other Russian Earth observation spacecraft.



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