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11 septembre 2013 3 11 /09 /septembre /2013 17:40
Russia Set to Launch Rokot Rocket After Long Suspension

The light payload Rokot launch vehicle


PLESETSK, September 11 (RIA Novosti)


Russia will launch a light-class Rokot carrier rocket early on Thursday following a nine-month suspension due to attempts to fix a glitch in the rocket’s booster, a Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman said Wednesday.


“The launch of a Rokot carrier rocket with three Gonets-M telecom satellites from the Plesetsk space center is scheduled for 3:23 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday [23:23 GMT Wednesday],” Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.


All launches of Rokots were suspended in January after the rocket’s Briz-KM booster failed to deliver three military satellites into their designated orbits, resulting in the loss of one of the satellites.


The light-class Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM, in conjunction with an upper-stage block containing the Breeze-KM booster and space-bound payloads.


According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a total of 16 Rokot launches have been carried out from the Plesetsk site since the first launch on May 16, 2000.


The Gonets-M satellites will be part of Russia’s low-orbit grouping of telecoms satellites designed to provide communications services for remote areas of Russia.


As of September 2013, the grouping consists of three Gonets-M and two Gonets-D1 satellites.

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