Tech UPTechnologyRussia launches secret military spacecraft into orbit around Earth

Russia launches secret military spacecraft into orbit around Earth


Russia continues with its space launches despite the continuous space (and non-space) cancellations at the international level due to the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. This launch took place at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Mirny on April 29, more than two months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in 2022. The Plesetsk Cosmodrome, founded in 1957, is a special military site, originally designed to test the intercontinental ballistic missile R-7 and that the USSR did not officially recognize its existence until 1983.


Little is known about its role

The new military spacecraft was sent into geostationary orbit atop an Angara 1.2 rocket, according to an initial report from NASA Spaceflight. It is rumored that it is a radar satellite, and if its nature is related to military uses, few have any doubt that it will be used in the war against Ukraine, since the Russian nation tries to solidify its ambitions since the beginning of the invasion. .

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement on April 30: “From the State Test Cosmodrome of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (Plesetsk Cosmodrome) in the Arkhangelsk Region, the combat crew of the Russian Federation Space Forces of the Aerospace Forces [VKS] successfully launched an Angara-1.2 light-class launch vehicle with a spacecraft in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry .”

The most likely scenario is that it is a radar earth observation satellite designed specifically for the Russian army, although there is no confirmation on this. However, it does share a naming scheme and satellite bus with two 6U CubeSats called MKA-N 1 and 2, suggesting that it is also an imaging satellite. Both were launched on a Soyuz in July 2017.

More releases

Last December, Russia launched its largest rocket since the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago: the 64-meter-high Angara A-5 . The current spacecraft was designated under the name ‘Kosmos 2555’ after the successful launch.

“In total, more than 30 ground-based measuring instruments and more than 50 combat crews from the 15th Aerospace Forces Army (Special Purpose) participated in ensuring the launch of the Russian Defense Ministry spacecraft,” the Russian statement continues.

Russia remains an active space power despite the fact that almost all of its international partners have canceled upcoming launches with this country.

The launch comes just days after Roscosmos announced it would be pulling out of the International Space Station. Let us remember that the ISS is managed jointly by Moscow and Washington, and the complete withdrawal of Russia will pose great challenges for the stability of the space station.

Reference: NASASpaceFlight

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