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Bion 9



Bion 9 (Cosmos 2044) was a biomedical research mission involving nine countries and ESA. Eighty experiments were conducted in such categories as motion sickness, reproduction and regeneration, immunology, and readaption to a normal gravity environment. A number of different biological specimens were used, including an assortment of rodents, newts, fish, fruit flies, ants, worms, cells, and seeds. The prime occupants were two macaque monkeys. The 2.3 m diameter descent sphere was successfully recovered after 14 days, but a failure in the thermal control system resulted in the deaths of some of the specimens.

The spacecraft was based on the Zenit reconnaissance satellite and launches began in 1973 with primary emphasis on the problems of radiation effects on human beings. Launches in the program included Cosmos 110, 605, 670, 782, plus Nauka modules flown on Zenit-2M reconnaissance satellites. 90 kg of equipment could be contained in the external Nauka module.

Alternate Names

  • 20242
  • Biocosmos 9
  • Bion9
  • Cosmos 2044

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1989-09-15
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 6000 kg

Funding Agencies

  • Institute of Biomedical Problems, Moscow (U.S.S.R)
  • European Space Agency (International)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)


  • Life Science
  • Microgravity

Additional Information

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

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