6 Feb 2018 15:08

Roscosmos may order 2 Angara-1.2 rockets in 2019-2020 to launch 6 Gonets-M satellites

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) - The construction of two Angara launch vehicles may be ordered in 2019-2020 in order to put Gonets-M satellites into orbit from Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a source in the rocket-and-space industry told Interfax.

"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," the source said.

"Both rockets will be used to orbit six Gonets-M satellites, presumably in 2021-2022," the source said.

The next Gonets-M mission from Plesetsk has been scheduled for the second half of 2018.

"Another trio of Gonets-M satellites will be launched in the third or fourth quarter by means of 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 source said.

Gonets is a Russian multifunctional personal satellite communications system comprised of low-Earth-orbit satellites providing global communications services. It is being developed by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Its lead designer is ISS-Reshetnev, and its operator and managing company is Gonets Satellite System.