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Sfera-53 (TEKh-44, Vektor-T)


Sfera-53 (also known as TEKh-44 or Vektor-T) is a small, passive satellite to measure the atmospheric density. The 53 cm diameter sphere (hence the name) was transported on 1 August 2012 on Progress-M 16M to the ISS.

Release of Sfera was made during a spacewalk (EVA) in the aft-nadir from ISS utilizing a mechanism that was attached to it prior to the EVA. Deployment occurred on 20 August 2012 at 18:29 UTC. It re-entered in late November 2012.

A second Sfera-53 satellite is to be launched in 2017.

Nation: Russia
Type / Application: Atmosphere density
Equipment: None
Configuration: 53 cm sphere
Propulsion: None
Power: None
Lifetime: 3 months
Mass: 13 kg
Orbit: 401 km × 403 km, 51.64 (#1); 398 km × 407 km, 51.64 (#2)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Sfera-53 (TEKh-44, Vektor-T) 1998-067CM 01.08.2012 Ba LC-1/5 Soyuz-U with Progress-M 16M
Sfera-53 2 (TS-530-Zerkalo) 1998-067NC 14.06.2017 Ba LC-31/6 Soyuz-2-1a with Progress-MS 06, TNS 0-2, Tanyusha-YuZGU 1, Tanyusha-YuZGU 2


  • NSSDC Master Catalog: Sfera

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