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