YEKATERINBURG, February 24. /TASS/. Russia is planning to conduct 19 launches of Soyuz-2 carrier rockets this year, breaking the record of 14 missions in 2014, the director general of the Yekaterinburg-based manufacturer of equipment for the space-rocket hardware said on Tuesday.
"The first launch is scheduled for February 27 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. In September, the first launch is expected from the Vostochny cosmodrome. The program envisages a total of 10 launches from Plesetsk, six from Baikonur, two from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana and one from Vostochny," NPOA head Leonid Shalimov said.
Mostly Russian satellites will be placed into orbit, for the first time over the past years, he said.
Just two Soyuz-2 carrier rockets will put to the orbit Galileo navigation satellites for a joint project with the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA). They will be launched from the Kourou cosmodrome.
Next year, a total of 22 Soyuz-2 booster launches and the first manned flight are planned, Shalimov said.
The first launch of Soyuz-2 was carried out on November 8, 2004. More than 40 launches of this type of carrier rocket and its modifications have been carried out over the past decade. The main difference of Soyuz-2 from the Soyuz-U base rocket is the use of the modern digital control system (not analogue) with a set of precision instruments, created on the national component base. The digital system easily adapts to flight conditions, including accidental exposure.
Eventually, the Soyuz 2 rockets are to replace other vehicles.
NPOA is one of the largest enterprises in Russia in the sphere of development and manufacturing of control systems and radio-electronic equipment for the space-rocket hardware, and also for automation of technological processes in various industries.