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The first Russian GEO series spacecraft were the Raduga military and government communications satellites which appeared in 1975. Since then the Raduga constellation has expanded to 12 spacecraft distributed among 9 locations for global coverage. The general configuration of Raduga spacecraft is unknown, but the launch mass is approximately 2.0 metric tons. Up to six 6/4 GHz transponders are carried on each satellite. In addition, Raduga spacecraft may host Gals (8/7 GHz), Luch P (14/1 1 GHz), and Volna (1.6/1.5 GHz) transponders. A new series of Raduga spacecraft, designated Raduga 1, debuted in 1989.

During 1993-1994 five Raduga-class spacecraft were launched and successfully deployed in GEO, while three older spacecraft were retired, increasing the total number of operational satellites of this type to 13 with the oldest member seven years old. Raduga 29 was launched on 25 March 1993 and joined Raduga 22 at 12 degrees E. Raduga 30 followed on 30 September 1993 and was transferred to 85 degrees E. Raduga 26, which had been stationed at 85 degrees E, began a series of small maneuvers coincident with the launch of Raduga 30, and the older satellite was placed in a graveyard orbit.

Two more standard Raduga spacecraft were launched in 1994: Raduga 31 on 18 February and Raduga 32 on 28 December. Raduga 24 at 45 degrees E, allowing the latter to drift off-station shortly thereafter. Raduga 32, on the other hand, was sent to join Raduga 25 and Raduga 1-1 at 70 degrees E. The third standard Raduga spacecraft to retire during 1993-1994 was Raduga 19, which shared the 35 degree E slot with Raduga 28. Raduga 19 performed an end-of-life maneuver in September, 1993. Raduga 1-3 was the only Raduga 1 type spacecraft launched during the period, and it joined Raduga 1-2 at 49 degrees E after launch in February, 1994.

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Page last modified: 10-04-2016 19:06:55 ZULU