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Meteor 1-11



Meteor 1-11 was the eleventh fully operational Russian meteorological satellite and the twentieth meteorological satellite launched from the Plesetsk site. The satellite was placed in a near-circular, near-polar prograde orbit to provide near-global observations of the earth's weather systems, cloud cover, ice and snow fields, vertical profiles of temperature and moisture, and reflected and emitted radiation from the dayside and nightside of the earth-atmosphere system for operational use by the Soviet Hydrometeorological Service. This was the third satellite of the Meteor series to be placed in a high orbit -- about 240 km higher than that of most other Meteor launches. Other high-orbit flights were made by Meteor 5, 10, and 12. Meteor 1 was equipped with two vidicon cameras and APT camera(s) for taking dayside pictures, a scanning high-resolution IR radiometer with APT capability, for taking dayside and nightside pictures, an actinometric instrument for making measurements of the earth's radiation field in the visible and infrared regions, and a medium-resolution scanning diffraction spectrometer for determining indirectly the vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity. The satellite was in the form of a cylinder 5 m long and 1.5 m in diameter with two large solar panels attached to the sides. The solar panels were automatically oriented towards the sun so as to provide the spacecraft with the maximum amount of solar power. Meteor 1 was oriented toward the earth by a gravity-gradient triaxial stabilization system consisting of flywheels whose kinetic energy was dampened by the use of controlled electromagnets on board that interacted with the magnetic field of the earth. The instruments were housed in the base of the satellite, which pointed toward the earth, while the solar sensors were mounted in the top section. The operational 'Meteor' weather satellite system usually consists of at least two satellites spaced at 90-deg intervals in longitude so as to observe a given area of the earth every 6 hr. When within communication range, the data acquired were transmtted directly to the ground receiving centers in Moscow, Novosibirsk, or Vladivostok or to APT-equipped stations within the USSR. During passes over regions beyond communication range, Meteor 1 recorded the TV and IR pictures, spectrometer data, and actinometric data and stored them on board until the satellite passed over one of the receiving centers. The meteorological data received at these centers were processed, reduced, and sent to the Hydrometeorological Center in Moscow, where they were analyzed and used for preparing various forecast and analysis products. Some of the TV and IR pictures and analyzed actinometric data were then distributed to various meteorological centers around the world. It is believed that the satellite was deactivated in September 1972, as indicated by the termination of video and IR data being transmitted to the United States from Moscow via the 'cold line' facsimile link.

Alternate Names

  • Meteor 11
  • 05917
  • Meteor1-11

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1972-03-30
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 1st Generation Upper Stage
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 3300 kg

Funding Agency

  • Soviet Hydrometeorological Service (U.S.S.R)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Project ScientistSoviet Hydrometeorological Service
Project ManagerSoviet Hydrometeorological Service
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