Demonstrator-2 spacecraft being searched for in Kamchatka

The search for the Demonstrator-2 spacecraft has been on in Kamchatka, Russia's peninsula in the Okhotsk Sea, for five days now. The Demonstrator was launched from the Ryazan submarine from the under-water position in the Barents Sea in the morning of July 12. The space vehicle landed in Kamchatka half an hour later.

Looking for the vehicle is a unit of the Russian strategic rocket troops deployed near the town of Klyuchi, Kamchatka.

The missing spacecraft is not that big and weighs a mere 146 kg, and is therefore difficult to locate by means of a seismological station. The wooded terrain and an approaching cyclone add complexities to the search effort.

The Demonstrator-2, according to a source in the Babakin research centre, was blasted off to a "sub-orbital" orbit by the Volna two-stage booster. The launch was aimed to test a new inflatable deceleration device. Experts say this landing technology can help preserve vehicles returning to Earth or landing on other planets.

Telemetric data say the Demonstrator-2 made a successful landing in Kamchatka in the prescribed area. However, it appears to be somewhat difficult to find the vehicle in such a vast area covered with forests. The Babakin centre says the spacecraft is vital for further tests on the braking technology.

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