THE FINAL RUSSIAN Resurs F remote-sensing satellite, was launched by a Soyuz booster from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, on 26 September. The spacecraft are based on the Vostok capsule, and the first example was first launched in September 1979 under the official Resurs label.

Photographic images are returned to Earth from the craft. The spacecraft are also used for classified reconnaissance missions.

The last Resurs was launched in August 1993, and the successor craft, called the Nika, is "...still not completed because of meagre financing", says the Federal Geodesy and Cartography Service.

It has been announced, that previously classified images returned from former Soviet military reconnaissance satellites and pictures from civilian spacecraft, are being marketed internationally by the Conversion Technology Centre, which has been established by the Russian Space Agency and the defence ministry.

In another market development, using a former Resurs T military photo reconnaissance satellite model, to be launched from Plesetsk in January 1996, the Russian Sovinformsputnik organisation will provide custom-produced images under contract to the US company Aerial Images.

Source: Flight International