Russia’s Soyuz-2.1b rocket to orbit Gonets-M telecoms satellites in 2020
By the year-end, Gonets-M satellites will be launched with the help of a Rokot carrier rocket for the last time
MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. The work on adapting Soyuz-2.1b carrier rockets for orbitting Gonets-M communications satellites will be over in 2020 and the first such launch is scheduled for the summer of next year, Gonets Satellite System Company told TASS on Tuesday.
"In 2020, there are plans to complete the adaptation of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket for the launches of Gonets-M satellites and conduct two launches (with three satellites in each launch), the first of which is scheduled for the summer, and thus renew the orbital grouping that consists of 12 satellites," the company said.
The launch of a package of Gonets-M satellites with the help of a Rokot carrier rocket is scheduled before the end of this year. This will be the last flight by this type of carrier rockets, the company reported. "No decision on its delay was made," the company said, commenting on the reports that a decision had allegedly been made to postpone the launch until next year.
"Work is currently underway with Gonets-M satellites developed by the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems for their subsequent dispatch from the enterprise to the Plesetsk spaceport in October," it stated.
The Gonets is Russia’s sole low-orbit system of mobile satellite communications designed for the global exchange of various types of information with mobile and stationary facilities, and for organizing re-broadcasting channels for various purposes. The system allows transmitting Glonass coordinate data from a mobile post to remote monitoring and communications centers, irrespective of a subscriber’s location.
Gonets-M small-class satellites are delivered into a low circular orbit (about 1,500 km over the Earth) in a set of three space vehicles. Satellites of this series provide for communications along with registering and storing messages in their onboard memory device and subsequently transmitting them to the subscriber.
Gonets-M satellites are also designed to provide telephone and facsimile communications in the area of users’ direct radio coverage.