Nadezhda satellite anniversary
marks thirty years of the first Nadezhda satellite launch. This ISS-Reshetnev-designed craft for the long time had been the main component of the Russian segment of the international satellite-aided search and rescue system COSPAS-SARSAT.
Nadezhda was developed on the basis of the navigation satellite Tsycada, built by the Reshetnev Company in 1976. The new satellite was equipped with a signal-relaying radio complex to obtain geographical locations of emergency beacons. Nadezhda was designed to serve the orbital constellation COSPAS-SARSAT, coordinated jointly by USSR, USA, France and Canada.
The first distress signal received by the satellite within a 10-day period since its launch became the beginning of the COSPAS-SARSAT system’s operation. Today this low-orbit system, comprising more than one million beacons, is used by as many as 40 countries. Over the past years since the inception of the systems over 5000 rescue missions have been carried out resulting in some 35 000 lives saved.
Near-term development of the COSPAS-SARSAT system implies employing new-generation navigation Glonass satellites. In February last year the first Glonass-K spacecraft, developed and built by ISS-Reshetnev, was launched, carrying a radio complex to relay signals from people in distress. Despite not having finished its in-orbit verification phase, the satellite has already scored its first rescue success – it received a signal from a crashed Canadian helicopter, helping rescue the crew after the accident.
Now all Russian-made new generation navigation satellites will be equipped with a COSPAS-SARSAT payload. As for the GLONASS constellation, it will become the first system using spacecraft in Middle Earth Orbit to receive and transmit distress signals.