Unknown military satellite is launched by a Russian rocket, the Angara

 



 

 

On Saturday, October 15, Russia successfully launched a tiny military satellite, completing its third orbital mission in less than a week.

 

A small satellite called EMKA-3 was launched into space by an Angara rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwest Russia on Saturday at 3:55 p.m. EDT (1955 GMT; 10:55 p.m. Moscow time), according to a Telegram update from Russia's space agency Roscosmos, which referred to the satellite as Kosmos 2560.

 

"The spacecraft was launched into the intended orbit at the predetermined time and accepted for control of Russian Ministry of Defense ground facilities. The spacecraft's Kosmos-2560 serial number was assigned "According to a Google translation of the Telegram post, Roscosmos wrote something.

The spacecraft has a solid telemetry connection that has been established and maintained, and its onboard systems are operating normally.

 

According to EverydayAstronaut.com, the roughly 330-pound (150 kilogram) EMKA-3 is on its way to a sun-synchronous orbit around 190 miles (300 kilometers) above Earth. What the spaceship will be doing up there is unknown.

 

Due to its military and covert purpose, not much is known about this payload, according to a mission description on EverydayAstronaut.com. "Optical reconnaissance spacecraft are believed to be the EMKA series of satellites."

Before Saturday's launch, three EMKA spacecraft had already entered orbit, the first one in April 2018. It was given the name Kosmos 2525 and spent roughly three years in orbit before seemingly reentering the atmosphere in the spring of 2021.

 

The following two began operations in April and September of 2022. These two, Kosmos 2551 and Kosmos 2555, respectively, didn't remain in the sky for very long. According to EverydayAstronaut.com, each one is believed to have returned to Earth after only a month or so.

 

It's not clear from the report whether EMKA-3 is intended to replace the unsuccessful Kosmos 2555 satellite or whether it's just a dummy mass payload.

The lightweight Angara 1.2 rocket from Russia, which made its debut this past April on another military mission, launched for the second time on Saturday. The Angara rocket family, which Russia built to replace its outdated but still functional Proton launcher, saw its sixth overall launch with the EMKA-3 launch.

 

It was Russia's third mission in less than a week with the EMKA-3 mission. A GLONASS navigation satellite was launched from Plesetsk on Sunday (October 9), and a Proton rocket launched a communications satellite for the government of Angola from the Kazakhstan-based Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday (October 12).

EMKA-3 was initially scheduled to launch on Friday, October 14, a popular day for space enthusiasts. Three Chinese Yaogan reconnaissance satellites were launched on Friday, and SpaceX's Crew-4 manned mission made its way back to the planet.

 

On Friday at 12:05 p.m. EDT (16:12 GMT), Crew-4 de-berthed from the International Space Station and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida at 4:55 p.m. EDT (2055 GMT).

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