Foton ( Russian Фотон for photon ) is the name of an unmanned spacecraft that the Soviet Union and later Russia developed from 1985 onwards on the basis of the Vostok spaceship and initially used for material science and technical experiments, and later to an increasing extent for biological experiments.
After the Soviet Union had successfully carried out four missions Foton 1 to 4, an experiment designed by Western Europe flew for the first time at Foton-5. From 1991 ESA participated in Foton 7 to Foton 12. The rockets were launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome .
The first model after the conversion to the Foton M series was lost in 2002 due to the failure of the Soyuz launcher when it was launched from ramp PU-3 in Plesezk and after 29 seconds it fell just 350 meters away into a wooded area. The start of Foton-M2 was successful in May 2005 and the landing capsule successfully returned to earth after 16 days from space. Foton-M3 took off on September 14, 2007 at 11 a.m. UTC and landed in the Kazakh steppe on September 26, 2007 at 7:52 a.m. UTC. In addition to material science, biological and medical experiments (more than 70 in total) were carried out on board the 6535 kg satellite.
July 24, 2014: Announcement of the partial loss of connection to the research satellite Foton-M4 since its launch on July 19. The situation was not classified as critical because data could still be received, but the satellite's engines could not be switched on to bring it into orbit. Temporary problems with the control of the satellite have been resolved.
September 1, 2014: Foton-M4 was able to return safely to Earth. The five day geckos of the species Phelsuma ornata on board , with which the effects of weightlessness on growth and mating behavior could be studied, were found frozen.
|No.||Start date||designation||Mission duration||Starting place||NSSDC ID|
|1||April 16, 1985||Foton 1 (Kosmos 1645)||12 days||Plesetsk||1985-029A|
|2||May 21, 1986||Foton 2 (Kosmos 1744)||13 days||Plesetsk||1986-036A|
|3||April 24, 1987||Foton 3 (Kosmos 1841)||13 days||Plesetsk||1987-037A|
|4th||April 14, 1988||Photo 4||14 days||Plesetsk||1988-031A|
|5||April 26, 1989||Photo 5||14 days||Plesetsk||1989-032A|
|6th||April 11, 1990||Photo 6||15 days||Plesetsk||1990-032A|
|7th||4th October 1991||Photo 7||15 days||Plesetsk||1991-070A|
|8th||October 8, 1992||Photo 8||16 days||Plesetsk||1992-065A|
|9||June 14, 1994||Photo 9||17 days||Plesetsk||1994-033A|
|10||February 16, 1995||Photo 10||15 days||Plesetsk||1995-006A|
|11||October 9, 1997||Photo 11||14 days||Plesetsk||1997-060A|
|12||September 9, 1999||Photo 12||15 days||Plesetsk||1999-048A|
|13||October 15, 2002||Foton 13 (Foton-M1)||False start||Plesetsk||2002-F02|
|14th||May 31, 2005||Foton 14 (Foton-M2)||16 days||Baikonur||2005-020A|
|15th||September 14, 2007||Foton-M3||11.8 days||Baikonur||2007-040A|
|16||19th July 2014||Foton-M4||44 days||Baikonur||2014-041A|
- Photon M-3 biosatellite launched from Baikonur spaceport. RIA novosti, September 14, 2007, accessed April 29, 2010 .
- ЦУП не удается включить двигатели биоспутника "Фотон-М". RIA Novosti, July 24, 2014, accessed July 24, 2014 .
- SpON geckos in safety: Russian research satellite "Foton-M" is back on course from July 26, 2014
- Foton-M # 4 Satellite Overview. spaceflight101.com, accessed December 6, 2015 .
- Sex geckos die in orbit on Russian space project . BBC News. Retrieved September 3, 2014