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MKA-FKI (PN4) Strannik
The fourth spacecraft in the MKA-FKI series was expected to fulfill following scientific tasks:
The fourth MKA-FKI mission would also use the Karat-200 standard bus with yet-to-be-determined upgrades, as of 2012, as well as a Strannik ("Wonderer") payload and an adapter.
During 2012, IKI apparently studied the possibility of launching the Strannik spacecraft as a piggy-back payload on one of the lunar missions. According to IKI, Strannik would be a modification of the Rezonans spacecraft and also serve as a prototype for the Roy project. In 2012, IKI started an addition to the preliminary design of the Strannik spacecraft with a plan to complete the work in 2013. (612)
On March 14, 2014, the Space Council of the Academy of Sciences, officially rejected the use of the Karat platform for all but the Relek experiment, which was to be Karat's second mission. The third, the fourth and the fifth launches of Karat were all cancelled.
The Space Council also recommended to conduct Strannik experiments within the Rezonans project. Peculiarly, the Rezonans itself relied on the Karat platform, however, the Space Council gave its prime developer, NPO Lavochkin, three months to propose upgrades to the Karat platform, which would make it suitable for the latest requirements of the Rezonans project.
In November 2014, Roskosmos issued a technical assignment for the development of the Strannik payload for another year. The approved suit of 13 instruments would now be based on the new enlarged and improved version of the Karat platform dubbed Karat-200. The 365-kilogram spacecraft would now be equipped with a liquid propellant engine for orbit correction. As previously expected, several sensors would be deployed on giant booms extending 15 meters from the main body of the spacecraft to provide measurements of magnetic field without interference from other equipment onboard the satellite.
Although, the satellite could be launched as a piggy-back payload on the Soyuz rocket with a Fregat upper stage, the technical assignment also gave developers an option to consider launching the spacecraft as a primary payload, probably on small vehicles, such as Start, Rockot or Dnepr.
Known specifications of MKA-FKI No. 4 (Strannik) satellite as of November 2014:
Instruments within the Strannik payload as of November 2014:
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Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: November 18, 2014
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The standard MKA/Karat bus was expected to be used as a basis for numerous Russian science missions during the 2010s. Copyright © 2010 Anatoly Zak