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.[1]

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.

The European Space Agency studied a very similar system called PARES (Payload Retrieval System), for use in combination with the Automated Transfer Vehicle.[2]

CapsuleLaunch dateCarried byNotes
VBK-Raduga 127 September 1990Progress M-5
VBK-Raduga 219 March 1991Progress M-7Lost on reentry
VBK-Raduga 320 August 1991Progress M-9
VBK-Raduga 417 October 1991Progress M-10
VBK-Raduga 519 April 1992Progress M-12
VBK-Raduga 615 August 1992Progress M-14
VBK-Raduga 731 March 1993Progress M-17Capsule returned by Progress M-18
VBK-Raduga 810 August 1993Progress M-19
VBK-Raduga 911 October 1993Progress M-20
VBK-Raduga 1022 March 1994Progress M-22

See also


  1. "VBK-Raduga". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  2. "PARES to complete study phase". Flight International. 5 April 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
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