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Cosmos 2290


Designation 23218 / 94053A
Launch date 26 Aug 1994 at 12:00 UT
Country of origin CIS
Mission Military: reconnaissance (Kuban; 7th generation)
Perigee/Apogee 211/292 km
Inclination 64.8°
Period 90.2 min
Launch vehicle Zenit

This is a 7th generation "Kuban" reconnaissance satellite. Five such satellites had been launched in 1986 and 1987. Built by the TsSKB in Samara, they were prototypes of a new spacecraft generation. Civilian applications are knowned as Nika-T (microgravity), Nika-B (medical/biology) and Nika-E (high energy particles). Are supposed to weigh 9 tons and stay in orbit 90 to 120 days. The payload which takes place in a 4.3 m3 capsule weighs 1.2 t.

This specific satellite could be a digital imaging satellite. A commercial version should be available in September 1996; it should be equipped with a 2 m resolution imager.

In late March 1995 (between Mar 24 and 29) the spacecraft raised its apogee by 200 km, from an orbit of 181 x 382 km x 64.8° to 181 x 571 km x 64.8°, and four new small objects were tracked in the post-maneuver orbit. It seems likely that this marks the end of the Kosmos-2290 mission. Russian spy satellites are usually deorbited at the end of their mission, and it is not clear whether the orbit raise of Kosmos-2290 reflects a new operational regime, a new disposal strategy, a deorbit burn that went in the wrong direction, or (less likely) a tracking by US Space Command of a residual part of the spacecraft following recovery of a reentry vehicle.

End of life

Decay 4 Apr 1995

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