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Foton-M 4, 5 (34KSM)

Foton-M 4 [TsSKB-Progress]

Foton-M 4 is the first satellite of the next generation (34KSM) of Russian micro-gravity research satellites.

While retaining the Vostok/Zenit-derived reentry module of the earlier Foton / Foton-M, the propulsion module has been replace by a Yantar type module, which provides maneuvering capabilities and longer mission support. The mission duration has been increased to up to 6 months by using solar cells for energy generation. The weight of scientific equipment has been increased by 100 kilograms.

Foton-M 4 was launched in July 2014 on a two months mission. Shortly after reaching orbit, the satellite suffered a communications problem and failed to raise its orbit. The satellite was sending telemetry but was unable to receive commands from the ground. A few days later, control was regained. In August it was announced, that the mission was cut short and that the descent module was recovered on 1 September 2014 after just six weeks in orbit.

A second mission, Foton-M 5, is planned.

Nation: Russia
Type / Application: Micro-gravity
Operator: Roskosmos
Contractors: TsSKB-Progress
Configuration: Yantar bus
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 6 months (design)
Mass: 6840 kg
Orbit: 251 km × 548 km, 64.88 (#4)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Foton-M 4 (Foton 16) 2014-041A 18.07.2014 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-2-1a
Foton-M 5 (Foton 17) - 202x Ba Soyuz-2-1a


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