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Briz-KM booster with 3 satellites separates from Rokot launch vehicle

July 03, 2014, 17:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The satellites will increase Russia’s Gonets space cluster to 10 pieces
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Rokot light-weight launch vehicle (archive)

Rokot light-weight launch vehicle (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Andrei Morgunov

MOSCOW, July 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The light-weight launch vehicle Rokot, which lifted off from Russia's Plesetsk cosmodrome on Thursday, July 3, has separated from the second stage and kept flying to the designated orbit, Aerospace Troops spokesperson Alexei Zolotukhin told ITAR-TASS.

The Briz-KM booster will put three Russian Gonets-M communication satellites into orbit in slightly over an hour.

The satellites will increase Russia’s Gonets space cluster to 10 pieces.

The Gonets satellite system is intended for establishing communication and transmitting various data, including coordinates and temperature parameters provided by the satellite communication system GLONASS. The information is transmitted by a group of space apparatuses flying on a low orbit at the altitude of 1,400km.

The Gonest satellite communication system is used for monitoring different infrastructure facilities, transmitting navigation and time parameters, established by means of the GLONASS system, from moving objects to different dispatcher and monitoring centers and ensuring communication with facilities on remote territories.

The Gonets system was designed by the JSC “Academician Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems”, Russia's leading space enterprise specializing in design, development and manufacture of high performance spacecraft and satellite systems.

The company owns the latest technology to perform a complete satellite manufacturing cycle, including mission-critical satellite testing and qualification as well as satellite-in-orbit control and support.

Information Satellite Systems has participated in more than 30 governmental and commercial space programs and manufactured over 50 different types of highly reliable LEO, MEO, HEO and GSO spacecraft.

ISS-Reshetnev’s solid expertise, highly-qualified personnel, advanced technologies and reliable partnership relations are the company’s most important assets and the major source of its competitive advantage allowing the enterprise to maintain its leading position on the highly competitive satellite market.

Gonets (Messenger) is a Russian civilian low Earth orbit communication satellite system. It consists of a number of satellites, derived from Strela military communication satellites. The first two satellites, which were used to test and validate the system, were launched by a Tsyklon-3 carrier rocket from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in July 1992, and were designated Gonets-D. The first operational satellites, designated Gonets-D1, were launched in February 1996.

Initially, Gonets was a Roskomos program, but was privatized in 1996 and is now controlled by Gonets SatCom.

For GLONASS signals to be received continuously across Russia, the system needs at least 18 operating satellites, and 24 satellites for global coverage.

The Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is based on a constellation of active satellites which continuously transmit coded signals in two frequency bands, which can be received by users anywhere on the Earth's surface to identify their position and velocity in real time based on ranging measurements. The system is a counterpart to the United States Global Positioning System (GPS) and both systems share the same principles in the data transmission and positioning methods.

Rokot is a light lift launch vehicle converted from the RS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile and made by the Khrunichev Space Centre. The rocket consists of three stages and the nose cone.

The Rokot conversion carrier rocket was built at the Khrunichev Centre on the basis of the RC-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (the CC-19 Stiletto, according to the Western classification). The first launch of the carrier rocket took place on November 20, 1990, off a silo at the Baikonur Cosmodrome by the ballistic trajectory. Rokot rockets have been launched off the Plesetsk cosmodrome since the year 2000.

Thursday’s launch is the second one this year. The first one took place on May 23 and orbited three military satellites.

The takeoff mass of the carrier rocket is 107 tonnes, the length is 28 meters and the diameter is 2.5 meters. The engines of all the stages of the rocket use highly toxic fuel components.

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