Home / Space force / Soyuz rocket lifts off from Plesetsk with Russian relay satellites – Spaceflight Now

Soyuz rocket lifts off from Plesetsk with Russian relay satellites – Spaceflight Now

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Three Russian Gonets communications satellites launched late Wednesday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, driving a Soyuz rocket and Fregat higher stage into orbit on the second profitable Soyuz mission in lower than 24 hours.

The Gonets-M satellites lifted off at eight:14 p.m. EST Wednesday (0114 GMT; four:14 a.m. Moscow time Thursday) from Plesetsk, a navy spaceport within the Arkhangelsk area of northern Russia.

Powered by kerosene-fueled engines producing greater than 900,000 kilos of thrust, the Soyuz-2.1b rocket arced towards the north from Plesetsk, concentrating on a high-inclination orbit tilted 82.5 levels to the equator.

The rocket shed its 4 first stage boosters, core stage, and payload fairing within the first couple of minutes of the flight. A 3rd stage RD-0124 engine completed the Soyuz rocket’s position within the mission earlier than deploying a Fregat higher stage to carry out two burns to achieve an on-target orbit at an altitude of roughly 932 miles (1,500 kilometers).

Roscosmos, the Russian area company, confirmed the three Gonets-M communications satellites and a small hitchhiker payload for the Russian Protection Ministry efficiently separated from the Fregat higher stage.

The launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome got here lower than 24 hours after a Soyuz rocket and Fregat higher stage lifted off from the Guiana Area Middle in South America with a navy spy satellite tv for pc for the United Arab Emirates. That mission was additionally profitable.

There have been 13 flights by Russia’s venerable Soyuz rocket household to date this 12 months.

“Congratulations to all colleagues and companions on the profitable launch of three Gonets M spacecraft,” mentioned Pavel Cherenkov, director of the Gonets satellite tv for pc system for Roscosmos. “Based on the data obtained, their separation from the higher stage came about usually.

“After the required flight operations are accomplished, they are going to be entered into the communication system,” Cherenkov mentioned in a translated assertion. “The replenishment of the grouping created an vital useful resource for the viability of the system and created some redundancy alternatives.”

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket climbs away from its launch pad at eight:14 p.m. EST Wednesday (0114 GMT Thursday) on the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Credit score: Roscosmos

Russian authorities ministries and civilian authorities use the Gonets-M satellites to relay safe messages between cellular terminals and glued operators. Gonets means “messenger” in Russian.

The three Gonets-M satellites, every with a prelaunch weight of about 617 kilos (280 kilograms), will endure orbital checkouts earlier than being commissioned into the info relay community. The spacecraft are designed for five-year missions.

“The Gonets-M satellites will probably be used for private communications companies, together with cellular and glued communications, industrial, environmental and scientific monitoring in distant areas,” mentioned ISS Reshetnev, producer of the Gonets M satellites.

The Gonets fleet is efficient in Russia’s far northern areas out of attain of standard satellite tv for pc communications methods. Messages relayed by the Gonets community are transmitted from the bottom to a satellite tv for pc passing overhead, then saved within the craft’s reminiscence till it flies over the message’s recipient.

The Gonets system is operated by a public-private partnership between Roscosmos — the Russian area company — and Russian trade.

File picture of a Gonets M satellite tv for pc. Credit score: ISS Reshetnev

With the addition of three new Gonets-M satellites, the info relay system now consists of 15 satellites, tweeted Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos.

A Soyuz launch in September additionally launched three Gonets-M satellites, giving the community six contemporary relay stations within the final three months.

The secondary payload launched by the Soyuz rocket was a nanosatellite named ERA-1 for the Russian Ministry of Protection. The small navy satellite tv for pc will check “superior microdevices and microsystems” for angle management and navigation, Roscosmos mentioned.

Email the writer.

Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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