45 Years From the First Bion Launch

31 october 2018

October 31, 2018 Bion research satellite developed and manufactured by SRC Progress JSC celebrates 45 years from its first successful launch. Experiments carried out aboard Bion satellite gave a chance to study fundamental issues of astronautics and made discoveries that laid the cornerstone of the modern space medicine.

Bion biological satellites with several species of mammals, amphibia, reptiles and insects aboard, were launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome, located in the North of Russia. The flights lasted 5 to 22,5 days. Reentry capsules soft-launched in the preset region. Totally there were orbited up to 40 biological objects. Monkeys joined the space community on Bion 6.

The research program for the first two Bion satellites was purely domestic. It became international from the 80s of the last century. Leading Universities of the USA, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Germany, France, Canada and China participated in the activities alongside with the Russian universities and research organizations.

11 biological satellites were launched from 1973 to 1996. Then was done a huge amount of studies dedicated to space influence on living organisms. Results were so extensive and comprehensive that scientists of different countries have still been using them in their scientific studies.

After 17 years of stagnation Bion project revived. April 19, 2013 the updated Bion-M 1 satellite was launched. The research program consisted of more than 70 experiments suggested by scientists from Russia, Ukraine, the USA, France, Italy, Germany, Germany, Republic of Korea. Mice, Mongolian gerbils, gecko, snails, bacteria, seeds, living cells spent 30 days orbiting the Earth at 575km altitude.

Currently SRC Progress and Institute of Biomedical Problems at Russian Academy of Science jointly with subcontractors are developing Bion-M 2 to press ahead with the unique biomedical experiments under space conditions.