Saturday, December 1, 2018

Russia Launches Cluster of Military Satellites from Plesetsk

Rokot launch on November 30, 2018. Credit:

Russia’s Rokot light carrier rocket blasted off from the Plesetsk space center in northwestern Russia early on Friday to put a cluster of military satellites into orbit, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service said.

"On Friday, November 30, at 5:27 Moscow time, an operational crew of the Space Troops of the Russian Aerospace Forces successfully launched a Rokot-class light carrier rocket with a cluster of spacecraft for the Russian Defense Ministry from launch pad 3, Site 133 of the State Testing Cosmodrome of Plesetsk in the Arkhangelsk Region," the press service said in a statement.

The Briz-KM upper stage together with three military satellites separated from the rocket’s second stage as scheduled, at 05:33 Moscow time.

Approximately two hours after the blastoff, the Briz-KM upper stage successfully inserted the three satellites into the designated orbit.

The Russian Aerospace Force has taken over control of three new military satellites, the Department of Information and Mass Communications of the Russian Defense Ministry told journalists on Friday.

"Three space vehicles launched in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry by a unit of the Space Army of the Aerospace Force from Plesetsk Cosmodrome with the small-lift launch vehicle Rokot were injected into final orbit and accepted for control by ground facilities of the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center of the Space Army of the Aerospace Force," the report says.

Stable telemetry communication was established with the spacecraft, according to the report. The spaceborn systems of the space vehicles are operating on a routine basis.

"After control over the space vehicles had been assumed, they were numbered ‘Kosmos-2530,’ ‘Kosmos-2531’ and Kosmos-2532," the report says.

Rokot is a space launch vehicle capable of delivering light and medium payloads to orbit. It was created on the basis of the RS-18 (SS-19) intercontinental ballistic missile manufactured by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center. After the end of the Cold War the missiles were re-purposed by the center to serve as space launch vehicles. Its first launch took place on May 16, 2000. So far, 29 Rockot launches have been held to put about 17 satellites into orbit.

This is the second Rokot launch from Plesetsk this year. The previous launch took place in April.

Credit: TASS

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