Russia’s Soyuz-ST-B Places Four Communications Satellites into Orbit


The Russian Soyuz-ST-B carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage took off from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana to put O3b communications satellites into orbit. This was stated by a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

“The Fregat upper stage and four communications satellites have detached from the third stage of the Soyuz-ST-B carrier rocket. The subsequent injection of the satellites into final orbit will be achieved via several activations of the Fregat service propulsion system. This is the tenth launch from the spaceport in French Guiana,” the spokesperson reported.

It should be noted that four O3b communications satellites on board the Soyuz carrier rocket have been designed and built by Thales Alenia Space to become a part of the medium orbit satellite constellation providing broadband internet access in different parts of the world (Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East).

Strela Rocket With Kondor-E Satellite Blasts Off from Baikonur:Space Agency

Stiletto (SS-19) ABM launch

The country’s space agency Roscosmos reported that Russia’s Strela carrier rocket lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome with a Kondor-E radar imaging satellite.

MOSCOW, December 19 (Sputnik) — Russia’s Strela carrier rocket blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome with a Kondor-E radar imaging satellite, the country’s space agency Roscosmos told RIA Novosti Friday.


On Thursday, the satellite launch was postponed until Friday due to technical reasons.Kondor is a family of light-class earth imaging satellites developed by rocket design bureau NPO Mashinostroyeniya for the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces. Kondor-E is an export version of the satellite.

The spacecraft carries a radar imaging equipment to monitor Earth and ocean surfaces. Satellite imagery can be used for ecological monitoring and to manage natural resources.

Russia looks to build new space station in 2017

The project, developed by research organizations under the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), will feature modules previously planned for the International Space Station, but Russia will uphold its commitments to the ISS until 2020.

Russia looks to build new space station in 2017

Modules previously intended for ISS will be incorporated into new station.Source: TASS

November 21, 2014 Ivan Safronov, Kommersant

According to industry sources, Russia may begin work on its own space station in 2017. It will have to give up developing the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) but will fulfil all its obligations to the other participants in the program to 2020. Some of the modules that were previously intended for the ISS may be incorporated into the new station.

A source close to the administration of the Central Research Institute of Machine Engineering (the space industry’s leading research facility) said that creating a Russian high-latitude orbital station is one of the key provisions in a manned space program for the period up to 2050, which is being drafted by a joint group of experts from Russia’s space agency Roscosmos and associated research institutes. The Russian station may be deployed between 2017 and 2019.

“The initial configuration will be developed on the basis of the multi-purpose laboratory and nodes of the OKA-T spacecraft,” the source said, citing the group’s proposals. “The operation of the station will be ensured by Soyuz-MS and Progress-MS spacecraft, whereas in 2020-2024 it may be possible to test the energy and the node module used in the lunar program.”

What will happen to the ISS?

Despite these plans, sources insist that there is no talk of ending Russia’s work on the ISS ahead of schedule. Moscow is determined to fulfil its international obligations until 2020.

In May this year, as relations between Moscow and Washington were cooling and sanctions were being introduced, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the Russian space industry, said that Russia does not intend to extend the operation of the ISS until 2024, as proposed by the United States, and will use the allocated funding on other space projects. In early November, Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko informed NASA chief Charles Bolden that Russia will take the final decision on whether to extend the operation of the ISS until 2024 or not before the end of the year.

Why does Russia need its own station?

Sources in the space industry say there are many reason for the creation of Russia’s own space station. One is that the launch of manned Soyuz-MS rockets from the Vostochny cosmodrome (in the Amur Region of Russia’s Far East) to an orbital inclination of 51.6 degrees (which is the orbital inclination of the ISS) is fraught with serious risks for the crew during launch: In the event of a failure the cosmonauts will end up in open sea.

The inclination of Russia’s orbital station will be 64.8 degrees, while the flight course during the launch phase will be above ground. In addition, the station’s coordinates will make it possible to deliver cargos there using rockets launched from the military cosmodrome in Plesetsk, in the Arkhangelsk Region. Russia will thus get access to civilian space exploration from two sites and will eliminate potential political risks associated with the use of the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“The new station will be located in a geometrically advantageous position, with a possibility to expand the sector of earth coverage,” the source said. “From the station, it will be possible to see 90 percent of the territory of Russia and the Arctic shelf, whereas for the ISS this figure is no more than 5 percent.”

Another function to be performed by the new station will be to conduct flight and development tests of manned lunar spacecraft: “In effect, we are talking of creating a bridgehead of sorts: first spacecraft will be delivered to the station and then proceed to the Moon,” the source explained.

How much will this project cost Russia?

The cost of the new station has not yet been disclosed. For the initial phase of deploying the space station, modules and spacecraft being developed for the Russian segment of the ISS will be used. Experts anticipate that this should not involve any additional costs.

Russia has been taking part in the ISS program since 1998. Currently, Roscosmos spends just one sixth of the amount spent by NASA on its maintenance (in 2013 alone, the U.S. allocated $3 billion for the purpose), although Russia is entitled to half of the crew places.

Before joining the ISS project, Russia operated the Mir space station. In 2001, the station was decommissioned and its fragments fell into the Pacific Ocean after deorbit. One of the reasons given for that decision was that Mir was very expensive to maintain, costing some $200 million every year. In 2011, the former head of the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, Yury Koptev, admitted: “There were no grounds to continue operating Mir because of the disastrous state it was in. There were even such critical moments when we simply lost control of the station when adjusting its orbit.”



On November 24, a session of the Russian-Kazakh intergovernmental commission will be held in Astana, to be attended not only by its co-chairman from the Russian side, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, but also Dmitry Rogozin. Together with Roscosmos head Oleg Ostapenko and his first deputy Alexander Ivanov, Rogozin may conduct a separate meeting on issues of manned space exploration, including the second phase of construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome. The first manned launch from there is scheduled for 2018.

First published in Russian by Kommersant

Russia will build satellites and train astronauts for Iran

 Russia will build satellites and  train  astronauts  for Iran

Simultaneously with the imposition of sanctions by the US State Department on space industry of Russia , Roskosmos signed a document on enhancing cooperation with Iranian Space Agency

In response to the U.S. sanctions against Russian space industry Russia is ready to dramatically expand cooperation with Iran. As ” Izvestia” found out , Roscosmos agreed to cooperate with the Iranian Space Agency , and we are talking about the maximum possible list of areas of cooperation starting from the Iranian satellite launch by Russian rockets to training of Iranian astronauts in the Cosmonaut Training Center ( CTC) in Star City (Zvezdniy Gorodok) near Moscow .

The head of Roscosmos sees no reason to count on a rocket “Zenit” in connection with the situation in Ukraine

04/28/2014 ARMS-TASS
MOSCOW, April 24. ( ARMS-TASS ) . Head of the Federal Space Agency ( Roscosmos) Oleg Ostapenko sees no reason to rely on the carrier rocket “Zenit” in connection with the situation in Ukraine. Roscosmos will focus on domestic appliances .

Answering the question whether Russia plans to produce on its territory boosters “Zenith” ( produced by the Dnepropetrovsk plant ” Yuzhmash ” ) , which are used in the project ” Sea Launch ” Ostapenko said: ” Probably not. There is no sense to produce a rocket here . in this regard, we can produce another rocket , but with completely different characteristics that will exceed all rocket including “Zenith”

Proton-M Rocket Launches Kazakh, Russian Satellites

Proton-M Rocket Launches Kazakh, Russian Satellites

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Proton-M carrier rocket has successfully placed Kazakhstan’s KazSat-3 telecommunications satellite and Russia’s Luch-5V relay satellite into Earth orbit, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said Monday.

“The Briz-M booster with two satellites has separated from the Proton-M carrier rocket. The Kazakh satellite, KazSat-3, is due to reach its final orbit at 5:17 p.m. Moscow time (01:17 GMT) and the Russian Luch relay satellite will separate from the booster at 5:57 p.m. Moscow time (01:57 GMT),” the agency said.

The Luch-5V will be the third satellite in Russia’s Luch Satellite Data Relay Network, used to transmit live TV images and communications from the International Space Station and orbital spacecraft to Earth, in a manner similar to that of the US Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.

The KazSat-3 satellite will provide telecommunications, TV, broadband Internet and other services in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. It was manufactured as part a project to create a national space telecoms network.

NASA Extends Reliance on Russian Spacecraft Until 2018

NASA Extends Reliance on Russian Spacecraft Until 2018

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) – American astronauts will continue to fly to the International Space Station aboard Russian spacecraft through 2017, NASA said Monday.

“Until a US commercial vehicle is sustained, continued access to Russian crew launch, return, and rescue services is essential for planned ISS operations,” NASA said in a procurement announcement.

The agency intends to buy six more seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry American astronauts to the ISS in 2017.

NASA will also contract with the Russian space agency Roscosmos to have seats available on docked Soyuz craft through spring 2018 in the event of an emergency evacuation of the station.

The cost of the proposed deal was not disclosed, but NASA signed a contract with Roscosmos last spring to pay about $70 million per seat for launch services through early 2017.

The agency, which is funding the development of several manned spacecraft, plans to select a commercial launch provider for missions starting in 2017.

Two NASA-funded private spacecraft – SpaceX’s Dragon and Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Cygnus – have already made unmanned resupply missions to the ISS.

No American vehicle has taken astronauts into orbit since the decommissioning of NASA’s shuttle fleet in 2011. The Soyuz is one of only two operational orbital manned spacecraft in the world, the other being China’s Shenzhou.