NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header


NSSDCA ID: 2012-042C
COSPAR ID: 1998-067CM


Sfera (also known as TEKh 44, Vektor-T, and just "sphere") was a passive, highly-reflective sphere 53 cm in diameter with a mass of 13 kg which was released during a spacewalk by occupants of the International Space Station (ISS). The sphere was tracked and its rate of decay used to determine the density of the Earth's upper atmosphere at altitude's ranging from 100-400 km. Release of Sfera was made in the aft-nadir from ISS utilizing a mechanism that was attached to it prior to the EVA. Deployment occurred on 20 August 2012 at 18:29 UTC.

Alternate Names

  • 38751
  • TEKh 44
  • Vektor-T

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2012-08-01
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan
Mass: 13 kg

Funding Agency

  • Russian Space Agency (Russia)


  • Earth Science

Additional Information

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

[] NASA Logo -