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Cosmos 149



Cosmos 149 was the thirteenth Russian experimental meteorological satellite, the third announced meteorological satellite, and the third launched from the Kapustin Yar site. The satellite, which was basically an orbiting optical station and equipped with (1) two medium-resolution, narrow-angle, three-channel scanning telephotometers operating in the visible spectral region to determine the statistical values of cloud fields and surface formations, cloudtop heights, and atmospheric water vapor content, (2) a high-resolution, narrow-angle, IR radiometer operating in the 8- to 12-micrometer window to determine surface and cloudtop temperatures, (3) a pair of three-channel, wide-angle radiometers to determine the radiative balance of the earth-atmosphere system, and (4) a television camera system to provide cloudcover pictures for correlation with the radiation data. The satellite was in the form of a domed cylinder with an annular base and was 6.5 m long and 1.2 m in diameter. Mounted in the top of the domed nose section of the spacecraft was one of the telephotometers, which scanned in a plane perpendicular to the flight path. The other telephotometer was mounted on the left side of the cylindrical center section and scanned along the flight path. The television system was housed in the side of the domed nose section, and its optical axis was directed parallel to nadir. The radiation balance sensor units were attached to booms that telescoped out from the lower and upper sides of the satellite base. The lower sensor unit faced nadir, and the upper one viewed in the zenith direction. Also attached to the base, by means of four long bars, was an annular dynamic air stabilizer. This was the first time such an aerogyroscopic system had been employed for satellite stabilization, and it was capable of providing an orientation in space with an error less than 5 deg relative to the three coordinate axes. The satellite's orientation was also regulated with rather high accuracy from the measurements made by the scientific instruments themselves. The orientation and stabilization systems made it possible to relate data to geographical location with an accuracy of 10 to 15 km at nadir. All the instruments operated in either of two modes: (1) the "continuous cycle mode" or (2) the "data storing mode." The satellite instrumentation included a programming and timing device for controlling the various units and the telemetry system in both the data storage mode and the continuous cycle mode. The satellite transmitted data at 90 MHz via an antenna mounted on the upper side of the satellite base. The temperatures of the various instruments were monitored by resistance thermometers, and the data were used to regulate the temperature and to adjust the results of the basic measurements. In general, the equipment worked as planned. However, problems with the stabilization system developed during the early part of the flight. This resulted in satellite roll about the longitudinal axis and, consequently, the amount of data acquired was relatively limited. Cosmos 149 re-entered the earth's atmosphere on April 7, 1967, after 17 days in orbit.

Alternate Names

  • 02714
  • Cosmos149

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1967-03-21
Launch Vehicle: Kosmos-2I
Launch Site: Kapustin Yar, U.S.S.R
Mass: 375 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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