• Carrying out customer’s research in space on spacecraft produced by JSC SRC «Progress»

    JSC SRC «Progress» offers spacecraft for carrying out fundamental and applied research under microgravity in the field of processing of materials, biology and medicine.

    JSC SRC «Progress» organizes and provides launches of customer’s scientific hardware as a part of "Foton-M" and "Bion-M" specialized anmanned spacecraft.

    Scientific hardware and experiment results are returned to the Earth in descent vehicle and are given to the customer. During the orbital flight scientific data is transmitted vie TM channels into data reception centers located all over Russia.

    Foreign scientific hardware installation procedure and methods of work with foreign partners are worked through for years. “Foton” and “Bion” automatic spacecraft has been in successful operation since 1985 and 1973 correspondingly. “Foton” and “Bion” spacecraft were used for commercial purposes from the end of 80 till 2007. Initial stage was characterized by separate agreements with French and German firms for launch of single payloads with mass of 20-30 kg, that makes up 4-5% of spacecraft payload mass. Recently commercial payload amount of these spacecraft has made up 60-80% of payload mass. Works were carried out within the frameworks of long-term agreements with French National Space Agency (CNES), European Space Agency (works on “Foton” spacecraft) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (works on “Bion” spacecraft). 

  • Scientific hardware accommodation on "Foton-M" №4 spacecraft

    Mechanical interface

    Scientific hardware can be installed both inside and outside the spacecraft. Location and area for scientific hardware are determined during scientific hardware initial data agreement. During scientific hardware development and production it should be taken into consideration that scientific hardware must be convenient during operation, during its mounting on the spacecraft and scientific hardware disassembly and provide perfect safety in scientific hardware handling during storage, transportation, tests. Dimensional center-of-mass models and electric equivalents of scientific hardware can be used during tests of scientific hardware as a part of the spacecraft.

    Power interface

    The following power sources are used to power scientific hardware:

    · electric power system of the spacecraft;

    · autonomous power sources of the spacecraft;

    · ground power sources.

    Rated voltage of scientific hardware electric power – 27 V.

    Autonomous power sources can be used during injection, descent, search. Autonomous power sources can be used to power stand-alone scientific hardware at all phases of spacecraft operation in case of small power consumption of scientific hardware.

    Ground power supplies provide scientific hardware with electric power in the process of ground tests. Electric power system supplies power to the research hardware during the orbital flight.

    Control interface

    For scientific hardware control can be used:

    · single commands – the commands that are issued during communication sessions are transmitted from Ground Control Center;

    · programmed commands – the commands that are included into the control programmes and are issued at present time irrespective of radio visibility zone.

    Technological control commands that are issued from the ground test complex can be used during the ground preparation of scientific hardware. Control commands are issued as voltage pulses of 27 V. A number of commands required for scientific hardware control is determined during the agreement of initial data for hardware.

    Telemetry data interface

    Scientific hardware telemetry parameters acquisition recording and downlink is conducted with the help of spacecraft radio-telemetry system.

    The spacecraft radio-telemetry system provides scientific hardware state control and scientific hardware functional check during data recording modes with the during communication sessions (2-3 times in the course of twenty-four hours) and during direct data transmission mode.

    Foreign telemetry system installation is possible.

    On-line telemetry data processing and telemetry data transmission to foreign participants of carrying –out scientific experiments is conducted.

    Radio-telemetry system channels meant for scientific hardware telemetry data acquisition are interrogated with a sampling rate of:

    · 100 Hz- during direct transmission mode;

    · 3 Hz – during recording mode.

    A number of radio-telemetry system channels for the concrete scientific hardware type is determined during the stage of agreement of initial data for scientific hardware.

    Heat exchange interface

    Scientific hardware heat release into gaseous medium of the descent capsule mustn’t go out of limits.
  • Scientific hardware operating conditions on "Foton-M" №4 spacecraft

    Assembly and tests

    Scientific hardware assembly and tests in the course of spacecraft preparation are made in the rooms, having all the necessary conditions for work with scientific hardware.


    Scientific hardware transportation as a part of the spacecraft is carried out by railway transport, scientific hardware transportation in issued sealing by rails and cars.

    Operation as a part of the spacecraft

    Scientific hardware, installed in the descent module is under the following effects: weightlessness, air atmosphere, pressure, temperature, humidity, space ionizing radiation of natural origin, emission of gamma-radiation source, accommodated inside re-entry capsule. 

    Scientific hardware, mounted outside re-entry capsule is under the following effects: weightlessness, high vacuum, temperature difference, space ionizing radiation of natural origin.

    In the process of operation scientific hardware as a part of the spacecraft is subjected to mechanical effects: vibrations, shock effects, linear accelerations, acoustic noise effect.
  • Standard operating schedule of scientific hardware on "Foton-M" №4 spacecraft

    Ground preparation

    The following kinds of work with scientific hardware take place during spacecraft preparation at the manufacturing plant and at Baikonur launch site.

    At the spacecraft manufacturing plant

    During spacecraft assembly phase (mechanical interface check):

    · scientific hardware incoming inspection;

    · scientific hardware assembly on the spacecraft, mechanical interface check, cable-laying;

    At the spacecraft electrical tests phase (electrical interfaces check):

    · scientific hardware incoming inspection;

    · autonomous tests (in case of need);

    · scientific hardware functioning as a part of the spacecraft;

    · electrical spacecraft tests.

    Spacecraft leakage tests with scientific hardware

    Leakage test is accomplished with the use of helium.