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MOSCOW, August 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The landing of Russia’s Photon-M descent capsule is planned for September 1, the press service of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Wednesday.
The decision on landing was made at a meeting of the state commission that reviewed the results of scientific experiments on the Photon-M satellite, the agency told ITAR-TASS.
“The implementation of the scientific experiments’ program is over as of August 27. The state commission made the decision to land the Photon-M descent capsule in the Orenburg region on September 1,” Roscosmos said.
The Photon-M4 satellite was launched on July 19, 2014 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Onboard the spacecraft are specimens for research on the biological effects of zero gravity and cosmic radiation. The specimens include geckos, silkworm eggs, dried seeds, fruit flies, and mushrooms. The geckos are part of biology experiments by Russia’s Institute of Medico-Biological Problems on the effects of weightlessness on mating.
Another experiment aboard the spacecraft is designed to measure the effects of microgravity on semiconductor crystal growth.
Several hours after the blastoff, the control communication with Photon-M was disrupted, although the spacecraft continued to transmit telemetric information. As a result of the malfunction, the satellite stayed on the support orbit, instead of being placed into the target orbit by its own engine on command from the Earth. The Institute of Medico-Biological Problems said after the control loss incident that it did not affect in any way the onboard life support system and the program of automatic experiments.