March 31, 2015
Rockot launch from Site 133/3 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome
A Russian Rockot launch vehicle lifted off from Site 133/3 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Tuesday at 13:48 UTC, embarking on a two-hour mission to deliver a trio of Gonets-M communications satellites to orbit. Reports of the liftoff from Russia's primary military launch site quickly emerged through news outlets and confirmation of mission success will come after the separation of the satellites.
Liftoff! Rockot carrying three Gonets-M satellites
Tuesday's launch was dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of the Gonets satellite constellation - a fleet of spacecraft orbiting 1,500 Kilometers above Earth to deliver store and forward communication services to commercial customers. This system builds the civilian counterpart to the Strela constellation that uses a similar structure but is exclusively used by the military and government.
Each of the Gonets-M satellites weighs around 280 Kilograms and can support 14 uplink and two downlink channels, picking up data packets that are then stored on board and later sent to a targeted ground station.
Eurockot Launch Services GmbH: http://www.eurockot.co
Images, Video, Text, Credits: Eurockot/ROSCOSMOS/Günter Space Page/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.