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Russia to launch Soyuz-2 rocket with communications satellites on November 24

Currently preparations of the rocket for delivery to the launch pad are entering the home stretch, according to the top brass

PLESETSK /Arkhangelsk Region/, November 17. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu checked preparations for the launch of a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket with a cluster of satellites scheduled for November 24, the Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.

Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Aerospace Force Colonel General Sergei Surovikin reported to the defense minister, "the launch of the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket for putting a cluster of satellites into orbit will take place on November 24 and currently a combat team of the Defense Ministry of Russia is completing technological operations for preparing the rocket for its delivery to the launch pad."

A source in the space industry earlier told TASS that three Gonets-M communications satellites were scheduled to be launched from the Plesetsk spaceport in northern Russia on November 24.

The Gonets is Russia’s sole low-orbit satellite communications system designed for the global exchange of various types of information with mobile and stationary facilities, and for organizing re-broadcasting channels for various purposes. The system allows transmitting Glonass coordinate data from a mobile post to remote monitoring and communications centers, irrespective of a subscriber’s location.

The Gonets next-generation satellite system will offer communications, including telephone services, in hard-to-access places, including the Arctic, and provide infrastructure for the Internet of things. In the future, it will allow transmitting data online from any objects, including mobile. The orbital grouping is expected to comprise 28 satellites in low near-Earth orbit.

A Soyuz-2 medium three-stage carrier rocket delivers satellites into near-Earth orbits of various altitudes. The first launch of a Soyuz-2 rocket took place from the Plesetsk spaceport in November 2004.