[FPSPACE] US-PM (or Yantar) Wreckage in Mexico

M.Wade@iaea.org M.Wade@iaea.org
Fri, 18 Aug 2000 10:28:04 +0200

Part of the 17D62 propulsion module of a Russian spacecraft which fell to
earth ca. 1994 has been recovered in Mexico. This engine article number is
unknown to me. Jonathon McDowell identified it as possibly a Yantar based on
the similarity to the 17D61 engine article number of the Ikar/Yantar
propulsion module. But the piece of wreckage looks to me more like that on
the IS-PM naval electronic surveillance sat.

You can see the wreckage at:

> http://www.geocities.com/radioastronomia/cosa.html
The candidate satellites that decayed from June 1993 to end 1994 would be:

Launch Date	Name		Spacecraft	Decay Date
1977-06-29	Meteor 1-28	Meteor-Priroda	1993-08-28
1993-08-11	Progress M-19	Progress M	1993-10-20
1983-07-24	Cosmos 1484	Resurs-OE	1993-10-31
1976-03-16	Cosmos 808	Tselina-D	1993-11-20
1992-12-09	Cosmos 2223	Yantar-4KS1	1993-12-16
1993-03-30	Cosmos 2238	US-PM		1994-12-10
1993-11-05	Cosmos 2267	Yantar-4KS1	1994-12-28

In my opinion this is probable the propulsion module of Cosmos 2238, the
first US-PM naval electronic surveillance satellite, that decayed on
December 10, 1994. You can see the similarity between the piece you have and
the area at the end of the earlier US-P satellite in the drawings from the
design bureau published recently in NK. The related Plasma-A satellite shows
the similarity even more clearly - a large central engine with a four-flange
structure and various instruments mounted.

You can see more on US-P / US-PM at:



and note the engine sections of Yantar-2K or Yantar-4KS1 appear different
from what the Mexicans have:



It is true that the 17D62 is unknown while the 17D61 is a Melnikov product
used on Yantar. But engine article numbers are assigned sequentially and do
not necessarily mean related engines or engines from the same design bureau.

Can anyone provide a positive identification?

Mark Wade