- Almaz are Russian/Soviet satellites that carry a synthetic
aperture radar (SAR) system for high-resolution (10-15 m) all-weather,
round-the-clock surveillance of land and ocean surfaces. Developed and
operated by the Russian space company NPO Mashinostroyenia, Almaz (Russian
for "diamond") spacecraft are used for exploration and monitoring in
fields such as map-making, geology, forestry, and ecology. The first
in the series was placed in orbit by a Proton launch vehicle on Mar. 31, 1991.
AND SPACE PROBES
- Almaz was also the name of an ambitious, top-secret Soviet project envisioned by Vladimir Chelomei as a manned orbiting outpost equipped with powerful spy cameras, radar,
and self-defense weapons. The program would also have involved heavy
supply ships and multiple reentry capsules. Although Almaz was delayed
and eventually cancelled after Chelomei fell out of favor with the Soviet
government in the late 1960s, its design was used as the basis for Salyut 1.
RECONNAISSANCE AND SURVEILLANCE