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Foton-M4 Satellite Placed into Orbit Successfully. / July 19, 2014 /

On 19 July 2014 at 00:50 Moscow Time, the Soyuz 2-1A launch vehicle successfully boosted the Foton-M4 satellite from Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
In compliance with the flight profile, Foton-M4В (manufactured by TsSKB Progress, Samara) was injected into the orbit at 00:58 Moscow Time.
The satellite has a mass of 6840kg and could carry up to 850kg of scientific equipment (up to 600kg inside the Re-Entry Capsule and 250kg outside). Active lifetime in orbit is 60 days. The Foton-M4 average orbit altitude is 57km.

Foton-M4 is designed to perform a series of experiments under microgravity conditions for acquiring new knowledge on zero-gravity physics, trying out the technological processes for producing enhanced semiconductor materials and biomedical preparations, and conducting biological and biotechnological studies.

Among them are the joint Russian-German experiments in growing semiconductor crystal under microgravity conditions by the KBTS 15 facility.
The facility developed by the Research Institute of Launching Complexes named after V.P. Barmin is one of the high-profile science payloads on Foton-M4. It is the Polizon-2 electric vacuum furnace facility with the heating temperatures from 400 to 1200°. Polizon-2 has the mechanism of control, vacuumization and automatic insertion of one of 12 samples.

Using the zone melting and oriented crystallization techniques in the furnace, scientists may study the crystal lattice growth under microgravity conditions, obtain super pure crystals of improved structure to be useful for industry, and study the crystallization under the effect of magnetic field and vibration.
These 12 samples include several ones made by scientists from Institute of Crystallography and Center for Material Science of Freiburg University. On board Foton-M4 the German researchers will pursue five experiments with semiconductor materials which are of utmost importance for contemporary electronics, particularly with GeGa, GeSi, and CdZnTe.

In the Polizon-2, these samples will be melt and form flawless homogeneous crystals due to zero gravity. The results obtained will enable scientists to enhance technologies on the Earth.

ROSCOSMOS Press Service

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