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.
|Type / Application:||Atmosphere density|
|Configuration:||53 cm sphere|
|Orbit:||401 km × 403 km, 51.64° (#1); 398 km × 407 km, 51.64° (#2)|
|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|