Molniya 1 communications satellite. Testing the deplyment of an antenna for a Molniya-1 military communications satellite. Molniya-1 was the first attempt by the Soviet Union to provide satellite-based communications for its armed forces. The first two test flights in 1964 were failures, but the third flight in October 1965 was a success. The Molniya satellites were launched into a highly-elliptical orbit which allowed them more time over the north polar regions than a sun-synchronous orbit, and better coverage than a geostationary orbit. Various satellites of the Molniya-1 type were launched, achieving operational status in 1968.
Model release not required. Property release not available.