The VBK-Raduga capsule was a reentry capsule that was used for returning materials to Earth's surface from the space station Mir. They were brought to Mir in the Progress-M cargo craft's dry cargo compartment. For return, the capsule would be substituted for the Progress' docking probe before it left the space station, and then after the Progress-M performed its deorbit burn, the capsule was ejected at 120 km altitude to reenter the atmosphere independently. It would then parachute to a landing area in Russia.
Each Raduga was about 1.5 m long, 60 cm in diameter, and had an unloaded mass of about 350 kg. It could return about 150 kg of cargo back to Earth. Use of the Raduga reduced the Progress-M's cargo capacity by about 100 kg, to a maximum of about 2400 kg.
|Capsule||Launch date||Carried by||Notes|
|VBK-Raduga 1||27 September 1990||Progress M-5|
|VBK-Raduga 2||19 March 1991||Progress M-7||Lost on reentry|
|VBK-Raduga 3||20 August 1991||Progress M-9|
|VBK-Raduga 4||17 October 1991||Progress M-10|
|VBK-Raduga 5||19 April 1992||Progress M-12|
|VBK-Raduga 6||15 August 1992||Progress M-14|
|VBK-Raduga 7||31 March 1993||Progress M-17||Capsule returned by Progress M-18|
|VBK-Raduga 8||10 August 1993||Progress M-19|
|VBK-Raduga 9||11 October 1993||Progress M-20|
|VBK-Raduga 10||22 March 1994||Progress M-23|