Less than two months after losing three satellites in the ocean, Russia’s apparently lost yet another one.
Russia is struggling to contact a military research satellite believed stranded in a low orbit by a rocket failure, according to Russian media reports.
The spacecraft lifted off on a Rockot launch vehicle at 1400 GMT (9 a.m. EST) Tuesday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome about 500 miles north of Moscow.
The two-stage Rockot, a converted ballistic missile, flew north from Plesetsk toward space. A Breeze KM upper stage was supposed to fire twice to propel Russia’s GEO-IK 2 satellite to an orbital altitude of 1,000 kilometers, or more than 600 miles, about 90 minutes after blastoff.
But U.S. military tracking data indicate the rocket is still in an elliptical transfer orbit with a peak altitude of about 650 miles and a low point of 200 miles. Such an orbit might indicate the hydrazine-fueled Breeze KM engine did not ignite for a second time as planned.
Russia’s Novosti news agency quoted Oleg Ostapenko, commander of Russian space troops, as saying the satellite was placed in a bad orbit. Russian controllers are attempting to establish control of the craft, which did not radio back to Earth following launch.
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Anyone Seen a Russian Military Satellite?
And this comes shortly after India lost a satellite last Christmas, when a Russian designed rocket exploded shortly after launch.
/is it just me, or does there seem to be an inordinate number of problems with Russian rocket quality lately?
Filed under: Blog Entry | Tagged: Bad Orbit, Ballistic Missile, Blastoff, Breeze KM, Breeze KM Engine, Breeze KM Upper Stage, Commander, Contact, Converted, Converted Ballistic Missile, Cosmodrome, Earth, Elliptical Transfer Orbit, Engine, Establish Control, GEO-IK 2 Satellite, Hydrazine-Fueled, Ignite, Launch, Launch Vehicle, Military Research Satellite, Mishap, Moscow, News Agency, Novosti, Novosti News Agency, Oleg Ostapenko, Orbit, Orbital Altitude, Peak Altitude, Plesetsk, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Radio Back, Rocket, Rocket Failure, Rocket Mishap, Rockot, Rockot Launch Vehicle, Russian, Russian Controllers, Russian Satellite, Russian Space Troops, Satellite, Spacecraft, Stranded, Struggling, Tracking Data, Two-Stage, U.S. Military, U.S. Military Tracking Data, Upper Stage | Leave a comment »