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Meteor 3/TOMS



The objective of this cooperative space mission between the US and the former USSR was to map global ozone from space with the goal of studying global and regional changes in the ozone. The Meteor-3, a series of meteorological observation spacecraft, had a three-axis stabilized system to provide a nadir-pointing fixed-yaw attitude. The attitude system consisted of a combination of gyros and a horizon sensor similar to US satellites. Attitude was controlled by momentum wheels. Solar energy was collected by twin solar panels and electrical power was provided by solar-charged nickel-cadmium batteries. The Meteor-3 normal instrumentation included twin TV camera for monitoring earth cloud cover and ice conditions, an infrared radiometer (IRR) for determining sea-surface temperature and obtaining cloud information, and a multichannel spectrometer (MCS) for providing thermal atmospheric sounding data. The Meteor 3-5 spacecraft incorporated a Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), designed and operated by NASA, as the first foreign sensor to fly on the Meteor series. The Meteor-3 had a continuous telemetry format, and a 24-hour storage capacity on board for the TOMS operation. With a downlink data rate of 80 kbs, observational data were downlinked to receiving stations in both the US and the Russia.

Alternate Names

  • 21655
  • Meteor 3-5
  • Meteor3-5

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1991-08-15
Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3
Launch Site: Plesetsk, U.S.S.R
Mass: 2150 kg
Nominal Power: 500 W

Funding Agencies

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (United States)
  • 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
Dr. George F. Esenwein, Jr.Program ManagerNASA Headquarters
Mr. Charles E. CoteProject DirectorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Robert Douglas HudsonProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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