MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket is scheduled to be launched from the Vostochny space center in Russia’s Far East in the small hours on December 25, a source in the space industry told TASS on Friday.
"The launch of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with a Fregat booster is scheduled for 05:07 Moscow time on December 25. It is planned to put in orbit two Russian Kanopus-V No5 and Kanopus-V No6 land remote sensing satellites and about 30 smaller spacecraft, mostly of the CubeSat class," the source said.
The Fregat booster has already been dispatched to Vostochny. Preparations for the launch are planned to begin at the end of the week. The Kanopus-V satellites are being checked before being taken to the space center. The Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle has been at the cosmodrome since June 18, 2018.
It will be the fourth launch from the Vostochny space center, with the previous one taking place on February 1, 2018, when two Kanopus-V satellites were put in orbit.
Kanopus-V satellites are designed to monitor man-induced and natural disasters, including weather emergencies, large discharges of pollutants into the atmosphere, and also to monitor agricultural activity, natural (including water and coastal) resources and land management.
The satellites weighing 465 kg are launched into sun-synchronous orbit about 510 km high. The satellites can operate for five years.
The first Kanopus-V satellite was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on July 22, 2012.
Vostochy is Russia’s first civil spaceport. The first successful space launch was performed from Vostochny in April 2016 when three satellites were put in orbit. Vostochny was built to ensure Russia’s overall access to outer space and reduce its dependence on Kazakhstan’s Baikonur space center.