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    A Rokot carrier rocket

    Russia Orbits 3 Telecoms Satellites Defense Ministry

    © Photo: Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center
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    Russian Space Programs (128)
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    Russia has orbited three communications satellites, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

    PLESETSK, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has orbited three communications satellites, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

    “The Rokot carrier rocket, launched today at 03:23 a.m. Moscow Time [23:23 GMT Wednesday] from the Plesetsk state space launch site, successfully put three Gonets-M communications satellites into the final orbit in due time,” Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.

    The launch followed a nine-month suspension due to attempts to fix a glitch in the rocket’s booster, Zolotukhin said Wednesday.

    All launches of Rokots were suspended in January after the rocket’s Briz-KM booster failed to deliver three military satellites into their designated orbits, resulting in the loss of one of the satellites.

    The light-class Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM, in conjunction with an upper-stage block containing the Briz-KM booster and space-bound payloads.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, prior to the current launch, a total of 16 Rokot launches were carried out from the Plesetsk site since the first launch on May 16, 2000.

    The Gonets-M satellites will be part of Russia’s low-orbit grouping of telecoms satellites designed to provide communications services for remote areas of Russia.

    Before today’s blastoff, the grouping consisted of three Gonets-M and two Gonets-D1 satellites.

     

    Topic:
    Russian Space Programs (128)
    Tags:
    Gonets-D1, Breeze-KM, ICBM, Gonets-M, Rokot, Russian Defense Ministry, Alexei Zolotukhin, Plesetsk
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