Soviet satellite “Meteor 1-1” falls in Antarctica

On the 27 March the first Soviet weather satellite “Meteor 1-1” fell in the Queen Maud Land region of Antarctica, - Space Forces spokesman Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said to RIA Novosti.

According to data provided by the Main Center for Space Reconnaissance, which is part of Russia's Space Forces, fragments of the Meteor 1-1 satellite entered the Earth's atmosphere at 02:17 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday" - Zolotukhin said.
He clarified that the coordinates of the fallen satellite fragments are 80,9° S, 5,63° W.

The satellite was launched on the 26 March, 1969 from Pleseck Cosmodrome. After a several experimental satellites Meteor 1-1 became the first fully functional craft which transferred weather condition data, photos made in visible and infrared bands to the Earth. Meteorological Offices in different countries received this information.

The craft operated a little more than a year. According to NASA, the satellite stopped working in 1970 when video and infrared data transmission from the USSR to the USA by special communication channel  was cut off in order to prevent accidental nuclear conflict.

Originally, the 1,2 tn craft was placed in orbit at an altitude of 650 km. In summer 2011 the satellite was at an altitude of 400 km, and after 9 months, in March 2012 it lowered to 250 km.
(Via RIA Novosti)