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Foton M-3



Foton M-3 is a European (ESA) mission (carrying a recoverable capsule) that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 11:00 UT on 14 September 2007. The 6.4 tonne, 6.2 m high and 2.5 m diameter satellite carries a 2.5 tonne capsule that will be released after many orbits. Also carried onboard is a 35 kg, student-built module named YES2 (Young Engineers Satellite 2) that was to be released on 25 September, a 6 kg picosatellite dangling down a 30 km, 0.5 mm thick Dyneema tether. However, the tether could be unrolled to only 8.5 km. The experiment failed. On-board the recoverable capsule was an experimental payload of 400 kg, for microgravity fluid physics and crystal growth experiments, and radiation tests on living bodies, including 10 gerbils. The capsule made a successful landing on the Russian-Kazakhstan border on 26 September 2007.

Alternate Names

  • 32058
  • FotonM-3

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2007-09-14
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan


  • Microgravity

Additional Information

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

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