MOSCOW, A Russian Rokot carrier rocket will lift off from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia early on Wednesday to put three military satellites into orbit, the Defense Ministry said.
The launch of the rocket, to carry Kosmos-series satellites, has been scheduled for 4:31 a.m. Moscow time (00:31 GMT), ministry spokesman Col. Dmitry Zenin said.
The satellites are expected to reach their designated orbits about two hours later, he said.
The official did not specify the tasks assigned to the satellites, but said they were designated Kosmos-2488, Kosmos-2489 and Kosmos-2490.
It will be the fourth Rokot launch from Plesetsk this year.
The Rokot launch vehicle, developed by the state-run Khrunichev Center, is a modification of the RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) two-stage ballistic missile that is being decommissioned from Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces.
The rocket is designed to put spacecraft weighing less than two tons into near-earth orbits.
Rocket brings 3 Russian military-purpose satellites on orbit
MOSCOW, The rocket Rokot has brought three Russian military-purpose satellites on the orbit. The satellites were given the numbers Kosmos-2488, Kosmos-2489 and Kosmos-2490, representative of the press service of the Russian Defence Ministry and the Aerospace Defence Troops Colonel Dmitry Zenin told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“The satellites were successfully brought on the designated orbit at the scheduled time at 06:16 Moscow time (02:16 GMT) and were placed under control of the ground computerised control centre of the Russian Defence Ministry, which will steer them during the orbital mission,” he said.
The launch vehicle Rokot with the upper stage rocket Briz-KM and three military-purpose satellites was launched at 04:31 Moscow time (00:31 GMT) from the Plesetsk spaceport on Wednesday. The rocket was placed under monitoring three minutes later at 04:34 Moscow time (00:34 GMT) by the ground facilities of the Titov main experimental space centre.
The launch was made under common command of Commander of the Aerospace Defence Troops Aleksander Golovko. The ground facilities of the Aerospace Defence Troops were controlling the launch and the flight of the booster.
The light rocket Rokot was created under the conversion programme on the basis of decommissioned intercontinental ballistic missile RS-18. The Khrunichev state research-and-production space centre produces the rockets of this type.
Rokot is made of three stages and the cone. First two stages are the upper stages of the strategic missile RS-18 and the upper stage rocket Briz-KM is used as the third stage.
The first launch of the rocket Rokot was made from the spaceport Plesetsk on May 16, 2000. Seventeen launches of the rockets of this type were made from the Russian northern spaceport up to now.
.Three military satellites launched from Russia early Wednesday morning have reached their target orbit, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.
The three Kosmos-series satellites, designated Kosmos-2488, Kosmos-2489 and Kosmos-2490, reached orbit at about 6:16 a.m. Moscow time (02:31 GMT) after lifting off from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia, Col. Dmitry Zenin said.
The Russian Rokot carrier rocket carrying the trio lifted off on time from at 4:31 a.m. Moscow time (00:31 GMT), Zenin said. It was the fourth launch from Plesetsk this year of Rokot, a system based on the RS-18 ballistic missile.
Zenin did not specify what role the satellites would perform.