Friday, December 26, 2014

Russia Successfully Launches Resurs-P Satellite

The Launch of Soyuz-2.1b rocket with Resurs-P2 satellite. Credit: Roscosmos

Russia’s satellite of remote sensing of the Earth Resurs-P number 2 has separated from the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket and reached the designated orbit, a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos told TASS on Friday. “The satellite separated from the carrier rocket at a scheduled time,” the spokesman said. The Soyuz-2.1b was launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan at 21:55 Moscow time. The satellite is designed for detailed, broadband and hyperspectral opto-electronic surveillance of the Earth surface. These data will be used by Russia’s ministry of natural resources, hydrometeorological service, emergencies ministry, ministry of agriculture, federal agency for fisheries and others. The satellite also has Nuklon equipment to explore outer space and register radiation.

As its predecessor, Resurs-P2 is capable of very advanced imaging operations. It could be commanded to photograph individual objects on the Earth's surface as well as to scan swathes of land extending up to 2,000 kilometers. Areas 200 by 300 kilometers could be captured, stereo images could be produced during a single orbital path and scanning could be conducted along a complex zig-zag routes on the Earth's surface below the satellite's path.

Resurs-P No.2 measures 7.93 metres in length and 2.72 metres in diameter at its widest point (26 by 8.9 feet). Constructed by the TSSKB Progress design bureau, the satellite is based around a bus derived from the Yantar series of reconnaissance satellites.

Resurs-P2 satellite. Credit: Roscosmos
Resurs-P2 satellite. Credit: Roscosmos

Resurs-P number 1 was put in orbit on June 25, 2013.

Resurs-P number 3 that is currently being built is planned to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2015. Resurs-P number 4 and 5 satellites are preliminarily scheduled to be launched in 2016 and 2017. It is expected that these satellites will have only Russian-made components.

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