Russian Soyuz rocket delivers military intelligence-gathering satellite into – Spaceflight Now

A Soyuz-2.1b rocket takes off Feb. 2 with a Lotos navy intelligence-gathering satellite tv for pc. Credit score: Russian Ministry of Protection

despatched a spy satellite tv for pc into orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket Feb. 2 from a snowy launch pad on the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, setting off on a mission to detect, find, and characterize overseas navy radio indicators.

The navy satellite tv for pc took off at 2045 GMT (3:45 p.m. EST; 11:45 p.m. Moscow time) Feb. 2 on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket, based on the Russian Ministry of Protection. The protection ministry didn’t determine the kind of satellite tv for pc on the rocket, however the launch trajectory and the orbit of the payload indicated it’s the subsequent in a sequence of Russian navy Lotos S1 intelligence-gathering spacecraft.

The Russian navy mentioned the Soyuz-2.1b rocket launched from Pad four at Website 43 at Plesetsk, situated in far northern Russia about 500 miles (800 kilometers) north of Moscow.

After heading northeast from Plesetsk, the Soyuz its 4 liquid-fueled first , second stage, and payload fairing. The Soyuz third stage injected the Russian navy’s fourth Lotos S1 surveillance satellite tv for pc into an orbit ranging in altitude between 152 miles (245 kilometers) and 559 miles (900 kilometers), with an inclination of 67.1 levels to the equator.

The orbit matches the altitude and inclination of the earlier Lotos satellites. Russia launched first Lotos check satellite tv for pc in November 2009, then deployed a sequence of operational Lotos digital intelligence-gathering spacecraft — often known as Lotos S1 satellites — with launches in 2014, 2017, and 2018.

The satellite tv for pc is formally Kosmos 2549, protecting with the Russian navy’s spacecraft naming scheme.

The brand new Lotos S1 spacecraft is anticipated to maneuver the satellite tv for pc right into a round 560-mile-high (900-kilometer) orbit earlier than it enters service for the Russian navy to snoop on radio communications.

Artist’s illustration of a Lotos satellite tv for pc. Credit score: KB Arsenal

The Lotos S1 satellites are constructed by KB Arsenal, a Russian navy contractor in Saint Petersburg, in partnership with TsSKB Progress. In accordance with the producer, the Lotos S1 satellites round 13,000 kilos (6,000 kilograms) totally fueled at launch.

The Feb. 2 mission was the primary Russian house launch of the 12 months.

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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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