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Cosmos 923



The Strela communications system consisted of a large constellation of medium orbit store-dump satellites that provided survivable communications for Soviet military and intelligence forces. The larger Strela-2M model provided encrypted communications for theatre military forces. Strela-2M's were launched one at a time by Kosmos 3M launch vehicles into orbits at 800 km altitude in three orbital planes inclined 74 degrees to the equator and spaced 120 degrees apart.

The system was developed experimentally in the 1960's, with flight tests from 1965. Reshetnev was the chief designer in collaboration with the KB Krasnoyarsk Radio-Technical Factory (V G Taranenko) and MNIIRS MPSS (Yu S Bikov). The Strela-2M used the communications satellite bus KAUR-1. Flight tests of the operational system began in 1970. Production system work began in 1972. In 1974 the Strela 2M system was accepted by the military. In the period 1970 to 1994 a total of 59 Strela-2M's were launched. The satellites could be monitored in the West by their characteristic continuous wave beacon at 153.660 MHz. There have been no launches since 1994 and the Strela-3 seems to be the only system that will be operated in the future.

Strela-2M used the basic KAUR-1 bus, consisting of a 2.035 m diameter cylindrical spacecraft body, with solar cells and radiators of the thermostatic temperature regulating system mounted on the exterior. Orientation was by a single-axis magneto-gravitational (gravity gradient boom) passive system. The hermetically sealed compartment had the equipment mounted in cruciform bays, with the chemical batteries protecting the radio and guidance equipment mounted at the centre.

Alternate Names

  • 10120
  • Cosmos923

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1977-07-01
Launch Vehicle: Kosmos-3
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 750 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Surveillance and Other Military

Additional Information

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

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