PLESETSK, Arkhangelsk region, January 15 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s booster vehicle Rokot that took off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia on Tuesday, has put on the low Earth orbit an orbiting unit of three military satellites and the Briz-KM upper stage.
“The orbiting unit successfully separated from the Rokot carrier rocket at 20:30 Moscow time,” spokesman for the Russian Space Forces Alexei Zolotukhin told Itar-Tass. “The satellites will separate from the upper stage at 22:09 Moscow time.”
The launch of the Rokot booster was initially scheduled for December 8, 2012, but was postponed to fix malfunctions in the Briz-KM upper stage built by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.
The light-class carrier rocket is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. The rocket is intended to put spacecraft of up to two tons on low Earth orbits. The rocket lift-off weight is 107 tons.
The first blastoff of Rokot from Plesetsk took place on May 16, 2000. Since then, sixteen launches of this carrier rocket were made from Russia’s northern cosmodrome.