RE: New Russian spysat on Sept 25th?

From: Anatoly Zak (
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 05:00:34 PDT

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    Phillip and everybody,
    I wrote this piece, Ukrainians just copied it and run it without attribution
    as it sometimes done in the former USSR.
    The information obviously came from Russia. As often in reporting on
    military space it involves some guess work, so I can not garantee the
    accuracy of all facts in the story. I believe I made it clear in the text. I
    agree it looks like Cosmos 2290, I am very well aware of your analysis of
    Cosmos 2290 in JBIS a few years ago.
    So for now, let's wait and see, BTW I now hear it goes up on Sept. 26, i.e.
    one day later.
    Anatoly Zak
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Phillip Clark []
    Sent: 16 сентября 2000 г. 12:35
    To: Allen Thomson
    Cc: SeeSat
    Subject: Re: New Russian spysat on Sept 25th?
    On Sat, 16 Sep 2000, Allen Thomson wrote:
    > There is a report that the Zenit-2 launch now scheduled for 25 September
    > will be carrying a new kind of reconnaissance satellite:
    > Perhaps Phillip Clark could comment on the report;  and the ILAM, if
    > available, would be useful to have.
    When I saw the report earlier this week my mind immediately went back to
    Cosmos 2290, launched in 1994: this is currently the only
    photoreconnaissance satellite to have been launched aboard the Zenit-2
    vehicle and is apparentluy an Orlets-2 photoreconnaissance satellite.
    The reports regarding the up-and-coming mission are somewhat confused,
    since a western writer Anatoly Zak (apoligies if my spelling is "off" here
    !) says that the Ukrainian story is echoing back a piece which he put
    together for a US-based internet publisher, so right now it's unclear what
    is Russian/Ukrainian data and which is western data being echoed
    back.   (I always thought glasnost was a Bad Move !)
    The new launch is apparently a follow-on to Cosmos 2290 which had around
    two dozen data-return capsules.   We know nothing regarding the
    configuration of the vehicle: I have previously speculated that it might
    be related to the long-proposed series of NIKA satellites, intended to
    replace the Vostok-based Resurs-F, Foton and Bion satellites, but the
    oft-quoted orbital regime and lifetime for NIKA did not square with Cosmos
    2290.   Then again, C2290 could be a military version of NIKA, just as we
    have the reverse Foton, Resurs-F and Bion being civil versions of the
    Zenit-2 satellite.
    And yes, I have long held the theory that the former-Soviet space industry
    was only allowed a limited number of names to use, which explains why the
    same name turns up with so many programmes !   As an example, we have
    Raduga which is (1) a launch complex at Plesetsk, (2) a proposed new
    launch vehicle, (3) the code-name for the 1976 Soyuz 22 mission, (4) a
    series of geosynchronous-orbit comsats, (5) the re-entry capsule flown on
    some Progress-M missions and (6) an aerospace design bureau.   There may
    be more Raduga applications within the space programme .......
    Phillip Clark
    Phillip S Clark                                     22 Winterbourne Close
    Molniya Space Consultancy                           Hastings
    Compiler/Publisher, Worldwide Satellite Launches    E Sussex  TN34 1XG
    Specialist in "space archeology" - the older and more obscure the more 
    interesting it is !
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