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Cosmos 121



Cosmos 121 was the tenth Russian experimental meteorologcal satellite and the first launched from the Plesetsk site. Although the satellite was intended primarily for nonscientific reconnaissance purposes, it carried supplemental equipment for conducting meteorological studies to aid in the development of instruments for operational meteorological satellites. The primary meteorological objective of the Cosmos 121 mission was to measure the intensity of reflected and scattered radiation in the 0.6- to 0.8-micron band to determine the spatial variation of the radiation spectrum in the mesoscale range. The spin-stabilized satellite was in the form of a cylinder with hemispherical ends and was 5 m long and 2.44 m in diameter. The announced scientific instrumentation consisted of an earthward-facing high-resolution photometer whose optical axis was parallel to the local vertical. Spacecraft telemetry (19.995 MHz) was handled via antennas mounted on the ends of the satellite body. The mission was a success. After nearly 8 days in orbit, the satellite re-entered the atmosphere on June 25, 1966, and the satellite instrumentation package was successfully recovered.

Alternate Names

  • 02210
  • Cosmos121

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1966-06-17
Launch Vehicle: Voskhod
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 4730 kg

Funding Agency

  • Soviet Academy of Sciences (U.S.S.R)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



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