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Jump to: Mission Objectives, Mission Instrumentation, Mission Parameters, Additional Information

Mission Photos:

Meteor-3M Spacecraft
Courtesy of NASA

Mission Objectives:

Meteor-3M includes the SAGE III (Strategic Aerosol and Gas Experiment) payload and other instruments designed to measure temperature and humidity profiles, clouds, surface properties, and high energy particles in the upper atmosphere. SAGE III is a gyrating spectrometer that measures ultraviolet/visible energy that will be used to enhance our understanding of natural and human-derived atmospheric processes by providing accurate long-term measurements of the vertical structure of aerosols, ozone, water vapor, and other important trace gases in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

A secondary mission objective is the flight testing of the novel-type spherical retroreflector for precise laser ranging.

Mission Instrumentation:

Meteor-3M has the following instrumentation onboard:

  • Spherical retroreflector
  • Other weather monitoring instruments
Mission Parameters:
Sponsor: NASA and RASA (Russian Aviation and Space Agency)
Expected Life: 3 years
Primary Applications: Weather sensing
Primary SLR Applications: precision orbit determination
COSPAR ID: 0105601
SIC Code: 5555
Satellite Catalog (NORAD) Number: 27201
Launch Date: December 10, 2001
RRA Diameter: 60 mm
RRA Shape: ball
Reflectors: 1 (glass ball)
Orbit: Sun synchronous (near polar)
Inclination: 99.64
Eccentricity: 0.0024
Perigee: 1,012km
Period: 105 minutes
Mass: 2,477 kg (5,500 lbs)

Additional Information:

Web sites:


  • Shargorodsky, V., Vasiliev, V., Soyuzova, N., Burmistrov, V., Gashkin, I., Belov, M., Khorosheva, T., and Nikolaev, E., "Experimental Spherical Retroreflector on Board of Meteor-3M Satellite", Presentation to 12th International Workshop on Laser Ranging, Matera, Italy, November 13-17, 2000.