Kosmos 690


Kosmos 690 / Bion 2
Bion spacecraft.jpg
Bion spacecraft
NamesBion 2
Biocosmos 2
Biokosmos 2
Mission typeBioscience
OperatorInstitute of Biomedical Problems
COSPAR ID1974-080A
SATCAT no.07478 [1]
Mission duration20.5 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeBion
ManufacturerTsSKB Progress
Launch mass5,500 kg (12,100 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date20 October 1974,
17:59:59 UTC [2]
RocketSoyuz-U s/n K15000-010
Launch sitePlesetsk, Site 43/4
End of mission
Landing date12 November 1974,
04:48:00 UTC
Landing siteSteppes of Kazakhstan,
Soviet Union
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [3]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Perigee altitude223 km (139 mi)
Apogee altitude389 km (242 mi)
Period90.40 minutes
← Bion 1
Bion 3 →

Kosmos 690 (in Russian: Бион 2, Космос 690), or Bion 2, was a Bion satellite launched by the Soviet Union.


Kosmos 690 was launched on 22 October 1974, at 17:59:59 UTC from Plesetsk Cosmodrome with a Soyuz-U launch vehicle. It was placed in low earth orbit, with perigee of 223 km (139 mi), apogee of 389 km (242 mi) and orbital inclination of 62.80°, and orbital period of 98.40 minutes.[3]


The spacecraft was based on the Zenit spy satellite with emphasis on studying the problems of radiation effects on human beings.

It carried albino rats for biomedical research. Scientists from Czechoslovakia, Romania and Soviet Union subjected the rats to daily radiation doses from a gamma source by ground command. When they were recovered 21 days later, many rats had developed lung problems and their blood and bone marrow had changed more than those of control specimens. It had an on-orbit dry mass of 5,500 kg (12,100 lb).[4][5]

An instrument module in the form of 2 connected truncated cones, weighing 2,400 kg (5,300 lb), 2.43 m (8 ft 0 in) in diameter and 2.25 m (7 ft 5 in) in length, carries in most of the auxiliary instrumentation in the hermetized part. Outwardly, ball valves with compressed nitrogen are attached to the gas nozzles of the stabilizer system. At the rear, the TDU-1 braking engine is located at a stroke of 15.83 kN and a maximum operating time of 45 seconds. Hypergolic KPL delivers a turbo pump to the combustion chamber. An auxiliary container containing chemical batteries and additional experiments, cylindrical with a diameter of 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) and a height of 0.90 m (2 ft 11 in) is placed above the return module and dumped approximately a day before the landing.


After 21 days, Kosmos 690 returned to Earth and landing in Kazakhstan on 12 November 1974. The return module, weighing 3,100 kg (6,800 lb) and 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in) in diameter, was covered with an ablative thermal shield 3 to 18 cm thick.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Cosmos 690". N2yo.com. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Trajectory: Bion 2 1974-080A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Mark Wade (2011) Bion Archived 2002-08-20 at the Wayback Machine Encyclopedia Astronautica Retrieved 2016-06-10
  5. ^ a b "Display: Bion 2 1974-080A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 16 January 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.


  • Kozlov, D. I. (1996), Mashnostroenie, ed.; Konstruirovanie avtomaticheskikh kosmicheskikh apparatov, Moscow, ISBN
  • Melnik, T. G. (1997), Nauka, ed.; Voenno-Kosmicheskiy Sili, Moscow. ISBN
  • "Bion' nuzhen lyudyam", Novosti Kosmonavtiki (6): 35, 1996