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Russia launches classified military satellite

Russia launches classified military satellite

Source: Spaceflight Now
Date Published: 09/13/2021

A classified Russian military satellite, possibly designed with a new miniature reconnaissance camera, launched Sept. 9 on a single-core version of the Soyuz rocket. The Soyuz 2-1v rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in far northern Russia at 2:59 p.m. EDT (1859 GMT), according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense. Liftoff from Plesetsk occurred at 10:59 p.m. Moscow time. Powered by a kerosene-fueled NK-33 engine, the rocket headed north over the Arctic Ocean, targeting an orbit flying north-south over Earth’s poles. The rocket shed its spent first stage and jettisoned its payload shroud after climbing above the discernible atmosphere, leaving the Soyuz second stage to place its military payload into orbit. Russian defense officials said in a statement that the rocket successfully deployed its payload into the proper orbit. U.S. military tracking data indicated the satellite separated from the rocket in a near-circular polar orbit about 185 miles (300 kilometers) in altitude. The orbital parameters are similar to those of an experimental Earth-imaging satellite launched on a previous Soyuz 2-1v rocket

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