Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Launch Notification: Strela 3, Cosmos 2467 and 2468

Courtesy of AGI's Launch Notification e-mails. AGI's E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at

New Launch: 2010 September 8, 0330 UTC
Site: Plesetsk Missile and Space Complex, Russia
Launcher: Rockot
International Designator(s): 2010-043A, 2010-043B, 2010-043C

SSC Name Owner
37152 COSMOS 2467 CIS
37153 STRELA 3 CIS
37154 COSMOS 2468 CIS

"Three small communications satellite blasted off Wednesday from northern Russia into low Earth orbit on a converted ballistic missile.

"The 95-foot-tall [29-m-tall] Rockot launcher lifted off at 0330 GMT Wednesday (11:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday) from Complex 133 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome about 500 miles north of Moscow.

"Made of retired missile parts, the Rockot's two core stages finished their work a few minutes after launch. A Breeze KM upper stage later injected the payloads in the planned orbit, according to Khrunichev, the launch vehicle's prime contractor.

"Spacecraft separation was scheduled for 0514 GMT (1:14 a.m. EDT), according to the Novosti news agency.

"It was the 14th flight of the space-rated Rockot vehicle, which also launches international commercial and research satellites.

"The rocket was carrying three satellites for the Russian government, including the second civilian Gonets M communications spacecraft designed to store and relay personal messages.

"Gonets satellites are built by Information Satellite Systems Reshetnev Co.

"The 617-pound [280-kg] satellite was joined by two Russian military payloads. Russia did not disclose the identity of the other payloads, but they are likely Strela communications satellites, military variants of the Gonets system."

[Note: This launch notification was delayed awaiting official identification by USSTRATCOM.]

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Rockot hauls three Russian satellites into space"