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The Launch Of Rokot
November 28, 2013 12:45


The “Rokot” carrier rocket with the “Breeze-KM” upper stage and three European spacecrafts of the “Swarm” series got off from the Plesetsk space port on November 22. This was reported to ITAR-TASS by the Troops of Aerospace Defense.

Plesetsk is used especially for military satellites placed into high inclination and polar orbits since the range for falling debris is clear to the north which is largely uninhabited Arctic and polar terrain. It is situated in a region of taiga, or flat terrain with boreal pine forests. The Soyuz rocket, Cosmos-3M, Rockot, and Tsyklon are launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The heavy Proton and Zenit rockets can only be land-launched from Baikonur (Zenit may also be launched at sea).

“The launch of the “Rokot” rocket with the “Breeze–KM” upper stage and three European spacecrafts of the “Swarm” series took place at the launching unit No. 3 of the pan No.133 of the Plesetsk space port at 16:02 MSK” - the representative of Aerospace Defense Troops said. “The total control of the launch of “Rokot” was executed by the Commander of Aerospace Defense Troops, major-general Aleksandr Golovko” – the representative clarified. The separation of the first stage and PLF jettison will happen over the waters of the Barents Sea at 16:04 MSK. The “Breeze –KM” upper stage will separate from the second stage of “Rokot” over the Arctic Ocean at 16:07 MSK, 5 minutes after the takeoff, this upper stage will continue to put the complex of spacecrafts to the final orbit. Over the next hour and a half the upper stage will form the orbit for satellites by the means of two 10-minute starts of the power plant. The complex of spacecrafts will separate from “Breeze–KM” at 17:33 MSK, the altitude of the satellite orbit will be 506 km. Then the upper stage de-orbiting will be performed by the means of two short starts of its engines. The three spacecrafts of “Swarm” system of European Space Agency are identical to each other. The mass of each satellite is 472 kg.

After their separation from the upper stage the spacecrafts will be put to different orbits: “Swarm A” and “Swarm B” will descend to the orbital altitude of 460 km, while “Swarm C” will rise to the orbital altitude of 560 km. This process will take several months, because the satellites are equipped with low-thrust engines running on freon. Thus, the engines of the spacecrafts will start hundreds of times before the satellites will be put to their final orbits. The “Swarm” satellites are designed to study the Earth's magnetic field. The satellites are made by “EADS Astrium” company; the period of their active life makes up 4 years.

The “Rokot” carrier rocket was created under the conversion program on the basis of the intercontinental ballistic missile RS-18 discarded from service (SS-19 modification 2, “Stiletto” by NATO classification). The rocket consists of three stages. The first two stages are the boost cluster of the RS-18 missile; the third stage is the “Breeze-KM” upper stage. The launching mass of the rocket is 107.5 tons



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Rokot Breeze-KM Swarm Plesetsk space port  

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