Bion (Russian Бион ) is the project name for a satellite program of the USSR and then Russia to study biological processes in space.
Structure and Mission
The satellite, also designated as biocosmos or Biosputnik started 1973-1996. The first - under the code name Kosmos 110 - satellite launched is also expected to this series because it was used to test the conditions of life in the universe. However, it was mainly testing the Voskhod spaceship. The actual satellite of the Bion series served the study of life and growth processes in plants and animals under the conditions of weightlessness. The tests were performed fully automatically on board satellites which were derived from the Zenit reconnaissance satellites.
The satellites (manufacturer name 12KS ) consisted of three sections: the cone-shaped Service Module, which located in the center of spherical payload or re-entry module ( with about 2.2 m in diameter ) and the external battery module. The latter was also used for other satellites (eg photon ) are used. The entire ship had a maximum diameter of 2.5 m and was around 5,400 kg, 625 kg of which was attributable to the scientific payload. They were taken with Soyuz rocket from the Plesetsk (up to 110 Cosmos ) from about 210-400 km in a high path with an inclination of 62.8 ° or 82.3 ° (Bion, 6, 7 and 9).
As of 2008, Bion -M was developed by the design office of the Progress successor. Through a more efficient service module, the satellite will reach a higher orbit ( 400-450 km instead of the current between 200 and 300 kilometers ), and thus achieve compared to about 22 days of the Bion series much higher service life. A first launch took place in April 2013, with a second planned for 2015.
Overview of the individual satellites
After landing, reported the Russian news agency Interfax that all gerbils and more than half of the mice had not survived on board the flight. The gerbils were killed in a module due to a malfunction. All other animals and biological experiments reached the ground unharmed and were taken to further investigations to Moscow.