Nominally, the mission of the Kosmos-3M launch on January 20, 2005 was to deliver a new Parus navigation satellite into orbit. The Space Forces also generously took a small scientific satellite along for a ride - a nice gift to the Moscow State University for its 250th anniversary.

But student science, as it turned out, wasn't the only diversion from the main mission. During that launch the Space Forces tested a new fairing that was developed to carry German SAR-Lupe satellites. Germany is planning to launch five of these satellites by 2007 using Kosmos-3M launchers (doesn't this explain why the Space Forces intends to keep the "dirty" Kosmos-3M in operation for five more years?).

Apparently, the Space Forces valued this contract very much and wanted to test the fairing beforehand. Had the fairing not worked, there was a chance that the Parus satellite would be lost (not to mention the Tatiana). But why care about a satellite that doesn't bring any hard currency?