Previous chapter: Raduga
In June 1989, the USSR conducted an inaugural launch of a follow-on spacecraft to its long-lasting Raduga family of communications satellites. The spacecraft was eventually identified as Raduga-1.
Like its predecessor and a number of other application satellites, the Raduga-1 spacecraft was developed by NPO PM (later ISS Reshetnev) in Zheleznogorsk but built by PO Polyot in Omsk. The satellite was intended primarily for providing military communications from the geostationary orbit. A number of transponders onboard of a follow-on Raduga spacecraft was increased to six and their immunity to interference was reportedly improved. (207)
2001 Oct. 6, 20:45 Moscow Time: A Proton rocket launched a military satellite (apparently the Raduga-1 comsat) from Baikonur.
2004 March 27: A Proton rocket with a Block DM upper stage blasted off from Pad 23 at Site 81 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 27, 2004, at 06:30 Moscow Time, carrying a classified payload for the Soviet military. According to the Russian space forces, the spacecraft separated from its upper stage at 13:06 Moscow Time, after an apparently successful launch.
Following a long tradition for the military spacecraft, the payload was identified as Cosmos-2406, with no details about its mission officially disclosed. However, several weeks later the spacecraft was renamed Raduga-1 -- a series of communications satellites. The spacecraft was later submitted to the UN register under designation Globus-1.
According to the Russian press, Lt. General Oleg Gromov, Deputy Commander of Space Forces attended the launch.
Raduga-1 No. 7 remained in the geostationary orbit at 85 degrees East over the Equator until February 2010. By July 2010, the spacecraft was moved eastward to 128 degrees. Until December 2010, four maneuvers were conducted to maintain the satellite in its position, however another orbit adjustment expected at the end of February 2011, did not take place, apparently indicating a failure of the satellite. As a result, the spacecraft started drifting westward. Around March 7 and 8, 2011, Raduga-1 No. 7 drifted close enough to one South-Korean and two Japanese satellites to prompt evasive maneuvers by all three. According to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Raduga passed as close as three kilometers from the COMS-1 Cheollian weather and communications satellite, even though some observers called these numbers exaggerated. Russian authorities did not immediately commented on the situation.
2009 Feb. 28: A Proton K rocket with the Block DM-2 upper stage lifted off from Site 81 in Baikonur Cosmodrome on Feb. 28, 2009, at 07:10 Moscow Time, carrying the Raduga-1 (Globus-1) No. 18L communications satellite for the Russian military. The payload was expected to separate from the upper stage of the launch vehicle at 13:46 Moscow Time on February 28. A representative of the Russian space forces confirmed that the spacecraft separated as planned at 13:45 Moscow Time in the correct orbit and within the range of the ground control center.
Next chapter: Raduga-1M
Known specifications of the Raduga-1 satellite:
A complete list of Raduga-1 launches:*
*Until 2004, all launches from Baikonur onboard Proton-K rocket. The 11S86 version of the Block D upper stage was used.
**Moscow Decree Time
Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: November 19, 2015
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An official depiction of the Raduga-1 satellite. Credit: ISS Reshetnev
Raduga-1 satellite during testing.