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Vostochny to help launch Gonets satellites aboard the new Soyuz rocket


Pavel Cherenkov, Gonets Satellite System Director General (part of Roscosmos):

Roscosmos plans to improve Vostochny cosmodrome infrastructure to enable launching Gonets-M communication satellites. How will rocket and space industry benefit from that? — Indeed, Roscosmos adapts one of the launchpads at Vostochny to be used for Gonets low-orbit satellite launches using the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rockets with Fregat boosters. Beside the works at the site, mathematical modelling is to be conducted, as well as flight task calculation and creation of a unified complex of validation instruments to work with Gonets-M satellites.

Two adapters are to be built as well to adjoin Gonets-M satellite cluster to the Fregat booster. Moreover, in order to enhance the Gonets personal communication system functions, additional customer access to the satellite communication channels will be introduced via retrofitting the Gonets-M satellite and ground infrastructure software.

The function will allow to substantially increase the range of clients.

Previously, Gonets satellites have been launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome on an outdated Rokot military surplus carrier rocket. The site at Vostochny will allow launching Gonets satellites using the new Soyuz-2 carrier rocket which is far more advanced and ecologically friendly. Vostochny is also more convenient, as unlike Plesetsk, it is mainly a civil cosmodrome — so the tasks will be split. Vostochny location is more universal ballistically allowing satellite launches with wide inclination rate.

How often Gonets satellites may be launched from Vostochny, is there any distant prospect? As the site has been under construction for more than one year. - Any low-orbit multisatellite system requires regular replenishment, currently it makes one or two Gonets launches per year. However, works are underway to create new generation Gonets system with far more satellites and more launches to inject the satellites into orbit and replenish the group.

The primary stage will see seven satellites launched simultaneously and later two-three spacecrafts to support the nominal number. That is why building a site for a light carrier rocket at Vostochny is crucial for Russia to have its own constantly operational low-orbit communication system.