MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The Fregat upper stage has successfully placed into the target orbit a Russian Defense Ministry satellite launched on Tuesday morning, the ministry’s press service reported.
"The spacecraft orbit placement was carried out in the normal mode," a ministry representative said.
The Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a military satellite was launched at 09:34, Moscow time from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia’s north-western Arkhangelsk region. The launch at the spaceport was supervised by Deputy Commander of the Aerospace Forces - Space Troops Commander Lieutenant General Alexander Golovko.
Soyuz-2.1b is the next-generation of the Russian workhorse Soyuz launcher. It is nearly identical to previously flown Soyuz launchers, but features an upgraded Control System switching from analogue to digital control system to make the Soyuz launcher more flexible and an upgraded third stage featuring the RD-0124 Engine. Soyuz-2.1b is usually outfitted with a Fregat upper stage that features its own autonomous control system that takes over after the Soyuz has released the orbital unit. Fregat provides more injection accuracy and is able to make several engine burns during the flight to allow payloads to be delivered to a variety of orbits including low earth orbit, sun-synchronous orbit, geosynchronous transfer orbit and geosynchronous orbit. By launching from three launch sites around the globe, Soyuz 2 can target a variety of orbital inclinations. Soyuz-2 is manufactured by TsSKB-Progress of Samara, Russia.
It was the fourth launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket from the Plesetsk spaceport in 2015. The previous launch from the northern cosmodrome was carried out on June 23, 2015. Also, two Rokot rockets were launched from Plesetsk in 2015.
Flight tests of the Soyuz-2 space rocket complex began at Plesetsk in November 8, 2004. Since then, 23 launches of the Soyuz-2 carrier rockets have been made from the cosmodrome.