Re-Entry: Block-2BL Upper Stage

Photo: Roscosmos
Photo: Roscosmos

A spent rocket body from a 1988 Molniya launch re-entered the atmosphere on February 7, 2017 after over three decades in orbit.

The Molniya/2BL rocket lifted the classified Kosmos-1966 satellite into orbit, a US-K missile early warning satellite belonging to the Oko program. Molniya lifted the satellite into a highly elliptical orbit around Earth, spending most of its time located high above the Soviet Union to detect incoming ballistic missiles. The satellite itself had a planned mission duration of four years and re-entered in 2005.

NORAD ID: 19448
Origin: Russia/CIS
Object: SL-6 Rocket Body
Type: Block-2BL Upper Stage
Mass: 1,200kg
Launched: August 30, 1988 – 14:14 UTC
Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M
Launch Site: Plesetsk, Russia

Re-Entry Prediction: February 7, 2017 – 09:08 UTC +/-45 Min.

Re-Entry Zone: Unknown


Re-Entry Orbit
Image: Spaceflight101/Orbitron