KOROLYOV, Moscow Region, January 25 (Itar-Tass) — A scientific microsatellite, the Chibis-M, for the study of air discharges, was launched into an operational orbit early Wednesday by means of the resupply spacecraft Progress which had undocked from the International Space Station on Tuesday. The microsatellite has already begun to operate in a standard mode, an official at the Flight Control Center told Itar-Tass.
The Chibis-M is designed to perform a new geophysical experiment, the Microsatellite, which provides for a comprehesive study of the physical processes evolving during atmospheric air discharges within a broad range of energies, from radio-frequency to gamma rays.
The weight of the microsatellite is 40 kg and that of scientific equipment on board is about 12 kg. The microsatellite has been developed by researchers from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Lebedev Physics Institute. The equipment includes an X-ray gamma detector, an ultraviolet detector, a radio frequency anslyzer, a digital optical range camera, as well as a set of plasma-wave instrurments.
The period of active work of the Chibis-M in orbit, according to scientists' forecasts, is to be not less than two years.
The Progress M-13M spacecraft is to descend from orbit later Wednesday and splash down in an assigned area of the Pacific.