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Satnews Daily
February 7th, 2018

Two Angara Rockets Could be Ordered to Launch Russia's Gonets-M Satellites

Photo of an Angara-2 rocket,
courtesy of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The construction of two Angara launch vehicles may be ordered in 2019-2020 by Roscosmos in order to put the Gonets-M satellites into orbit from Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a source in the rocket-and-space industry told the Interfax news agency.

According to the industry source, the first order for two Angara-1.2 rockets may be placed directly by Roscosmos in 2019-2020. Those rockets were previously ordered by the Defense Ministry and the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center under a contract with partners from South Korea. Both rockets will be used to orbit six Gonets-M satellites, presumably in 2021-2022 time frame. Another trio of Gonets-M satellites will be launched in the third or fourth quarter via a Rokot launch vehicle with a Briz-KM upper stage. There will be two more launches in the future using Soyuz-2.1b rockets with Fregat upper stages

The next Gonets-M mission from Plesetsk has been scheduled for the second half of 2018. Gonets is a Russian multi-functional personal satellite communications system comprised of LEO satellites providing global communications services. It is being developed by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) with the lead designer being ISS-Reshetnev — the satellites' operator and managing company is Gonets Satellite System.