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Meteor 1-14



This was the 14th fully operational meteorological satellite in the Soviet Meteor 1 program. The satellite was placed in a near-circular, near-polar orbit to provide 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. Its 900-km orbit seemed to verify a continued effort by the USSR to place new Meteor satellites in high orbits -- about 240 km higher than the orbits of early spacecraft in the series. Meteor 1 was equipped with two vidicon cameras with APT capability for taking dayside pictures, a scanning high-resolution IR radiometer, also with APT capability, for taking dayside and nightside pictures, a set of actinometric instruments for making measurements of the earth's radiation field in the visual 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 toward the sun to provide the spacecraft with the maximum amount of solar power. Meteor 1 was oriented toward the earth by gravity-gradient control of the 2 axes. The X and Y axes were mechanically stabilized by a system 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 two satellites spaced at 90-deg intervals. This allowed for nearly continuous monitoring of the formation, development, and movement of major weather systems. When within communication range, the data acquired were transmitted directly to the ground receiving centers in Moscow, Novosibirsk, or Vladivostok or to APT-equipped stations within the USSR. During its 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 were then distributed in real time to various meteorological center around the world.

Alternate Names

  • 06392
  • Meteor 14
  • Meteor1-14

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1973-03-20
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 1st Generation Upper Stage
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 2000 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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