Space: April 6, 2002


Russia has launched another photo-recon satellite (Cosmos 2387 on 25 Feb) after being without such a satellite for more than four months. Cosmos 2387 is a film-return satellite, which drops film to Earth in two small capsules, then lands itself. (The expensive camera is then re-used; the expendable spacecraft hull is not). Most satellites of this type remain in orbit about 100 days but the last one (Cosmos 2377) stayed aloft for a record 133 days as the Russians tried to get more use out of fewer satellites. --Stephen V Cole




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