KOROLYOV /Moscow Region/ December 21. /TASS/. Russia’s cargo spacecraft Progress MS has established radio contact with the communication and broadcasting satellite Luch-5B, a source in the space rocket industry has told TASS.
"There has been the first successful session of communication with the Progress MS spacecraft via a Luch system satellite," the source said.
A cluster of three relay satellites will make it possible to keep in touch with the spacecraft at any point of its orbit, and not just over the territory of Russia, where ground communication satellites are located.
Last time relay satellites (Altair) were used to run a spacecraft during the first and last orbital spaceflight by the Soviet space shuttle Buran in 1988. Also, they maintained communication with the orbital station MIR.