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LEO was also the destination of a small amateur radio satellite launched on the maiden orbital mission of the Rokot booster on 26 December 1994. Dubbed Radio-ROSTO (Russian Defense, Sport, and Technical Organization), the 72-kg spacecraft closely resembled the Strela 1 communications satellite. The payload was the BRTK-11 electronic billboard (aka RS15) for use by amateur radio operators. The transponders worked at an uplink frequency band of 145.857-145.897 MHz and a downlink frequency band of 29.357-29.397 MHz with an output power of 5 W. Radio-ROSTO was inserted into an orbit of 1,884 km by 2,161 km at an inclination of 64.8 degrees (References 264-265).

Radio-ROSTO is seen as the precursor to a proposed constellation of Radio-M spacecraft. Also launched by Rokot but into orbits of 950-1,000 km at 65 degrees, the network would consist of up to six spacecraft working with uplink and downlink frequencies of 435 MHz and 146 MHz and an output transmitter power of 20 W. Radio M spacecraft will be nearly twice as massive with a total mass of 120 kg. An alternative system would consist of six Radio-ROSTO class spacecraft in circular orbits near 1,950 km at inclinations of 65 degrees (References 264 and 266). The Radio program dates back to the piggyback launch of Radio-1 and Radio-2 in 1978, followed by Radio-3 through Radio-8 in 1981. Subsequent Radio transponders were carried by other host spacecraft (see below).


264. Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 17-31 December 1994, pp.17-19.

265. ITAR-TASS News Agency, and Ostankino Television, 26 December 1994.

266. Y. Gomostayev, op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 164-171.

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