25th Anniversary of the Europe-America-500 Project

16 november 2017

25 years ago in November 16 - 22, 1992 was implemented an extraordinary international space project dedicated to the 500th anniversary of America’s discovery by Christopher Columbus.

November 16, 1992 Soyuz-U carrier was launched from Plesetsk space range to place Resurs-500 satellite into orbit within the frames of the unique project. The satellite orbited the Earth 111 times. November 22 the re-entry module splashed down off the coast of the USA. Russian specialists hoisted it onboard the Marshal Krylov research ship. Then, Resurs-500 was delivered to Seattle port and handed over to the Boing Museum of Flights.

Progress manufacturing plant and Central Specialized Design Bureau (now SRC Progress JSC) jointly spearheaded and carried out the project. Resurs-500 was a derivative of Resurs-F satellite. The latter had been in operation for more than 10 years in the USSR by that time. Resurs satellites were designed by the TsSKB and mass produced by the Progress manufacturing plant. 

The Europe-America-500 project was implemented without government funding. Commercial organizations sponsored the project coordinated by the governments of Russia, the USA and some European countries. Containers placed aboard the re-entry module included the presidential address of Boris Yeltsin to Bill Clinton, the President of the USA, the address of His Holiness Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to patriarch of the American Christian community, souvenirs and letters of Russian children to their American coevals. The Russian delegation arrived to Seattle was formed of Samara Oblast local authorities, representatives of commercial organizations, employees of the Progress manufacturing plant and TsSKB design bureau and students of Nayanova Academy.

The Europe-America-500 project demonstrated design and production capabilities of SRC Progress JSC to foreign customers and paved the way to the international activity of the company.