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Cosmos 2290



Cosmos 2290 was a Russian military reconnaissance satellite launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome aboard a Zenit -2 rocket.

Following evaluation of flight trials in April-May 1977 it was concluded that the Yantar-2K was not capable of providing strategic warning of attack. Therefore three additional variants were developed, one of them the wide-spectrum detail and survey satellite Orlets. This featured a panoramic camera and drew on features of an existing draft project designated Yantar-6K. The redesigned spacecraft would be expandable, with Phase 1 (Orlets-1) being launched by the Soyuz-U2 launch vehicle, equipped with 8 film return capsules and having a design life of 60 days. Phase 2 (Orlets-2) would be launched by the much more powerful Zenit launch vehicle, be equipped with 22 return capsules, and have a 180 day design life. The draft project was completed in the late 1980's; Orlets-2 mass mock-ups were used on two Zenit test flights in 1986 and 1987. The manufacturer of the Zenit launch vehicle was in the Ukraine. After the break-up of the Soviet Union this was clearly an undesirable source for launch vehicles for strategically important spacecraft. Furthermore funds dried up. Consequently only a single Orlets-2 flew as Cosmos 2290.

Alternate Names

  • 23218
  • Cosmos2290

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1994-08-26
Launch Vehicle: Zenit
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan
Mass: 13000 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (United States)


  • 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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