Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spotted Kosmos 1238 Ukrainian military satellite

Caught Kosmos 1238 out of the corner of my eye tonight, it's one of 25 Ukrainian military radar target satellites. It's a sphere about 2 meters across covered in solar panels. This one has been in orbit since 1981.

Cosmos 1238 Ukrainian military satellite
Caught at ISO 1600, 1.3 sec, f/5.6, 300mm crossing over Gemini

This satellite is a Taifun-1 type, which looks like a beach ball with 4 little antennae sticking out the back. It's crazy to think that this has been orbiting the Earth since before I was born, and it's visible from my apartment complex even though it's only 6 feet in diameter!

Taifun-1A, Credit: Yuzhnoye, from Encyclopedia Astronautica

 

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