Foton-M No.2
Mission typeMicrogravity research
COSPAR ID2005-020A[1]
SATCAT no.28686
Mission duration16 days[2]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeFoton-M
Launch mass600 kilograms (1,300 lb)
Payload mass385 kilograms (849 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date31 May 2004, 12:00:00 (2004-05-31UTC12Z) UTC
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5
End of mission
Landing date16 June 2004 (2004-06-17)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude261 kilometres (162 mi)
Apogee altitude302 kilometres (188 mi)
Period93 minutes

Foton-M No.2 was an unmanned Foton-M spacecraft which carried a European payload for the European Space Agency (ESA). It was placed into orbit by a Russian Soyuz-U rocket launched at 12:00 UTC on 20 June 2005 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan by the Russian Space Agency (RKA). The Foton-M No.2 mission was a replacement for the failed Foton-M No.1 mission, which was lost in a launch failure on 15 October 2002.

The 600-kilogram (1,300 lb) payload carried by the spacecraft included 385 kilograms (849 lb) of experiments; consisting of 39 experiments in fluid physics, biology, material science, meteoritics, radiation dosimetry and exobiology (BIOPAN-5). Some of the experiments were designed by the ESA's student programme.

One notable experiment tested the ability of lichen to survive in space. It was successful, as the lichen survived over 14 days of exposure to space.


  1. ^ "SPACEWARN Bulletin, SPX-619". NASA. Archived from the original on 2009-05-10.
  2. ^ "European experiments back on Earth with successful conclusion of Foton-M2 mission". ESA. 16 June 2005.