An Angara-1.2 rocket operated by the Russian Area Pressure launched a spy satellite tv for pc for the Russian Protection Ministry from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Oct. 15. The precise id of the payload shouldn’t be recognized, apart from it obtained the Kosmos-2560 designation upon reaching Solar-synchronous Orbit (SSO). Whereas initially suspected to be a small navy optical reconnaissance satellite tv for pc designated EMKA-3, new studies provide the payload is a part of a unique collection of satellites and is designated EO MKA No. 3. The Kosmos-2560 is a small navy satellite tv for pc optical reconnaissance satellite tv for pc with a excessive a excessive decision digital camera, based on open supply data. Sturdy telecommunication is being maintained with the satellite tv for pc and its onboard programs are functioning usually, the Russian Ministry of Protection (MoD) mentioned.

Kosmos-2560 is related to two beforehand launched satellites: Kosmos-2551, which launched aboard a Soyuz-2.1v rocket in September 2021, and Kosmos-2555, which launched aboard the primary orbital Angara 1.2 rocket in April 2022. Based mostly on the report that Kosmos-2560 is EO MKA-3, and that Kosmos-2551 and 2555 have been deployed into related orbits with related ranges of thriller, it’s seemingly that Kosmos-2551 and 2555 are literally EO MKA-1 and MKA-2, respectively. These spacecraft have been beforehand understood to be named EMKA-2 and MKA-R. The launch attracted the ire of the US which accused Moscow of putting the satellite tv for pc into the identical orbital airplane as USA 326, an American navy satellite tv for pc that launched into low-Earth orbit earlier on February 2, 2022.


Angara 1.2 rocket being raised vertical at Web site 35/1 on the Plesetsk Cosmodrome earlier than a earlier launch. (Photograph by Worldwide Launch Providers)

The Angara rocket household is a household of launch autos being developed by the Moscow-based Khrunichev State Analysis and Manufacturing Area Middle. The launch autos are to place between 3,800 kg (8,400 lb) and 24,500 kg (54,000 lb) into low Earth orbit and are meant, together with Soyuz-2 variants, to switch a number of present launch autos. The launch of Kosmos-2560 is simply the second time that Angara 1.2 rocket has launched operationally, and it was the second launch utilizing the 1.2 variant, designed particularly for payloads launching to LEO. Whereas the Angara 1.2 can solely launch 3,800 kg to LEO, the extra succesful model — the Angara A5 — has flown a majority of Angara missions up to now.

Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport positioned in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and roughly 200 km south of Arkhangelsk, the cosmodrome dates to 1957. Initially developed as an ICBM website for the R-7 missile, it additionally served for quite a few satellite tv for pc launches utilizing the R-7 and different rockets. Its excessive latitude makes it helpful just for sure forms of launches, particularly the Molniya orbits, so for a lot of the positioning’s historical past it functioned as a secondary location, with most orbital launches happening from Baikonur, within the Kazakh SSR. With the tip of the Soviet Union, Baikonur turned a international territory, and Kazakhstan charged $115 million utilization charges yearly. Consequently, Plesetsk has seen significantly extra exercise because the 2000s.