general navigation structure general satellite info ilrs support retroreflector info center of mass site performance info


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

Mission Photos:

ZeyaZeya satellite diagram
Courtesy of Sven Grahn

Mission Objectives:

The Zeya (also spelled Zeia) satellite was a Russian Military Communications satellite launched on 04 March 4 1997. Zeya was named after the Zeya River, which is very close to it's launch site, Cosmodrome Svobodniy. This was the first satellite launched from this new Russian launch site in far eastern Russia.

The satellite was designed for refining technology of the launch of small satellites and for testing of user's radio equipment in the interest of precise geodesy and navigation definitions. Laser corner reflectors are designed for precise measurement of satellite's orbit and also for calibration of navigation radio equipment aboard the satellite.

After launch the satellite was spinning around with angular velocity about thirty revolutions per minute. Planned duration of the main experiment: six months since launch moment.

Mission Instrumentation:

Zeya has the following instrumentation onboard:

  • Radio equipment
  • GPS receiver
  • GLONASS receiver
  • Laser retroreflector array
Mission Parameters:
Sponsor: Russia
Expected Life: 6 months, no longer supported
Primary Applications: military communications
Primary SLR Applications: precision orbit determination
COSPAR ID: 9701001
SIC Code: 8888
Satellite Catalog (NORAD) Number: 24744
Launch Date: March 4, 1997
Decay Date October 25, 1999
RRA Diameter: 28 cm
RRA Shape: box array
Reflectors: 20 corner cubes
Orbit: circular, sun-synchronous
Inclination: 97.27
Eccentricity: 0.000
Perigee: 471 km
Period: 94 minutes
Weight: 87 kg

Additional Information:


  • Burmistrov, V.B., Pliev, L.F., Shargorodsky, V.D. and Vasiliev, V.P., "Retroreflector Array on Board of the Zeya Satellite: Design Features and Observation Results", Proc. of the 11th International Workshop on Laser Ranging, Deggendorf, Germany, September 21-25, p. 320, 1998.