NSSDC To Archive Data from Many Soviet Missions

Volume 14, Number 4, December 1998
By Joseph H. King and Natalia Papitashvili

Dr. Nikolai Pavlov of Moscow State University (MSU) visited NSSDC in early November 1998 to discuss the preparation and archiving at NSSDC of energetic particle data from a series of Soviet spacecraft of the 1960s through 1980s.

Data will be prepared and archived from the following missions: ZOND-1, -3 (lunar missions); MARS-2, -4, -5, -7; LUNA-17, -19, -21, -22; VENERA-2-11, -13, -14, -16; VEGA-1, -2 (Comet Halley missions); PHOBOS-2 (Mars mission); GRANAT (high altitude geocentric); and COSMOS-900 (low-altitude geocentric, polar).

The data will consist mainly of energetic proton count rates plus a limited amount of energetic electron data. These data will be most useful in studies of solar energetic particle events, interplanetary particle acceleration processes, and the like. COSMOS-900 data will be additionally useful in magnetospheric particle studies.

The data will be provided as flat ASCII data tables with accompanying spacecraft location information files and documentation files. (For the geocentric spacecraft the position and count rate data may be integrated into individual records and files.)

The initial data submission will consist of Venera 13 count rates of 1-3 MeV protons moving in solar and anti-solar directions and omnidirectional fluxes of protons above 30 MeV. These data will cover the period November 1981 through February 1983. Note that the Venera-13 mission put a lander on the Venus surface in March 1982 after which the main spacecraft carrying the particle detectors proceeded in a heliocentric orbit.

Dr. Pavlov and his colleagues are preparing a system and interface for worldwide networked-based access to these data from MSU. NSSDC's level of support for access to these data will depend on the otherwise available accessibility to these data. Data preparation work at MSU has been supported in part by a data restoration grant from NASA's Office of Space Science.

Note Added in Proof: The referenced data and detailed descriptive material are available at ftp://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/pub/spacecraft_data/russian_msu/

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