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Space exploration in 2016
The world's orbital launch attempts in 2016 (as of June 24, 2016 ):
The 2016 space launch score card (as of June 24, 2016 ):
PLANNED RUSSIAN SPACE LAUNCHES IN 2016:
July 7, 04:36 Moscow Time: A Soyuz-FG rocket to launch the Soyuz MS transport spacecraft with a crew of three from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS. (In November 2014, Interfax quoted head of RKK Energia Vladimir Solntsev as saying that the first upgraded Soyuz-MS vehicle would be launched in March 2016. The launch was later planned for May 30, 2016. On April 29, Roskosmos announced that launch had been postponed from June 21 to June 24. At the beginning of June, the mission was rescheduled for July 7.)
July 17: A Soyuz-U rocket to launch a Progress MS-3 cargo ship from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS. The launch was previously scheduled for April 30, 2016. The spacecraft arrived at the launch site on Jan. 25, 2016. At the beginning of June, the mission was rescheduled from July 4 to July 17.
End of August: A Proton-M/Briz-M rocket to launch the 6,900-kilogram EchoStar-21 (T2) satellite for EchoStar Satellite Services of Englewood, Colorado. The International Launch Services, ILS, which markets Protons overseas, announced an agreement to launch an unspecified EchoStar satellite on May 13, 2013. (The mission was originally planned at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016. During 2016, it was postoponed to early June, then to June 25 and by the end of May it was expected at the end of August.)
Sept. 23: A Soyuz-FG rocket to launch the Soyuz MS-2 transport spacecraft with a crew of three from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS. (The launch was previously scheduled for Sept. 30, 2016.)
October: A Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat to launch Kanopus-V-IK satellite and a cluster of secondary payloads from Baikonur. Kanopus-V-IK was delayed from 2013 and 2015 and moved from Rockot in Plesetsk to Soyuz-2-1a in Baikonur).
Oct. 31: A Rockot booster to launch the 900-kilogram Sentinel-5P remote-sensing satellite from Plesetsk. (As of January 2014, the launch was expected at the beginning of 2016 and was also expected in mid-April and mid July 2016.)
Nov. 16: A Soyuz-FG rocket to launch the Soyuz MS-3 transport spacecraft with a crew of three from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS. (The launch was previously scheduled for Nov. 30, 2016.)
Postponed from February: A Proton-M rocket to launch the Yamal-601 satellite for Gazprom Space Systems, a division of the largest Russian oil and natural gas producer. The Yamal 601 satellite, weighing over 5,700 kilograms, will be built by Thales Alenia Space on the flight proven Spacebus-4000 platform. The satellite will be launched into geostationary transfer orbit and has an anticipated service lifetime of 15 years. Yamal 601 satellite will replace Yamal 202 and will provide fixed communications and transmission services in C-band over Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa and South-East Asia from the orbital position at 49 degrees East longitude. This satellite is also designed for development of business in Ku- and Ka-bands in the Russian market.
The mission marked the second Russian company switching from domestic communications satellite developers to foreign suppliers. Previously, Russian Satellite Communications Company, RSCC, also gave contracts to non-Russian satellite producers.
The International Launch Services, ILS, a US-based company that markets the Proton rocket to commercial customers, announced the contract for the launch of Yamal-601 on Jan. 22, 2014.
Postponed from 2015:
End of 2015 - end of 2016: A Soyuz or Vega rocket to launch the 200-kilogram Taranis satellite into a quasi-sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 700 kilometers. Developed by the French space agency, CNES, the Taranis satellite (Tool for the Analysis of RAdiation from lightNIng and Sprites) will be a secondary payload during a mission to deliver multiple spacecraft. The satellite will study magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupling via transient processes, focusing in particular on two aspects: determining the characteristics and frequency of transient luminous events (TLE) involved in the coupling between the ionosphere and atmosphere, and characterizing the electron beams accelerated from the atmosphere to the magnetosphere. The contract for the mission between Toulouse Space Center and Arianespace was announced on July 9, 2012. The agreement also included options for the launch of two other CNES satellites, Microscope and Merlin.
Postponed from December 2015: A Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket to launch the Meteor-M No. 2-1 remote-sensing satellite, along with a cluster of secondary payloads, including Ionosfera-1, Ionosfera-2, Flying Laptop, Flock 2, Scout, AISSat-3, Perseus-O1, Perseus-O2.
Postponed from 2015: Soyuz rocket to launch the Foton-M No. 5 spacecraft. The spacecraft is expected to be equipped with solar panels, modified service module, and the new liquid-propellant orbit correction engine. The orbital lifespan of the satellite to be launched into the 400-450-kilometer orbit was expected to increase to 60 days. (As of April 2009)
Postponed from around 2015: Russia to launch Kosmos-SKh satellite to monitor agricultural development from space.
Postponed from 2015: Russia to launch the Kartograf-OE No. 2 remote-sensing satellite.
Postponed from end of 2015: Russia to launch Elektro-VO No. 1 satellite. (As of 2012.)
Delayed from fourth quarter of 2014: A Zenit-3SLB/Fregat-SB to launch a Ukrainian Lybid satellite from Baikonur. (As of April 2012. When first announced in 2006, the mission was promised to take place in 2010 and was later expected in September 2011. In April 2010, the launch was promised in April 2012. It was then delayed to the fourth quarter of 2013. In August 2014, Ukrainian space agency said that the spacecraft would be ready for launch in the fourth quater of that year).
Beginning of 2016: Russia to launch Elektro-VO No. 2 satellite. (As of 2012)
2015: Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat-SB rocket to launch the Arkon-2M No. 1 remote-sensing satellites for all-weather radar observations of the Earth surface from a 550-600-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit. The launch was originally promised in 2009 (299) and later in 2012-2013. In 2010, a pair of spacecraft was scheduled for launch in 2013, however by 2012, the first Arkon-2M was expected to fly in 2015 and the second in 2016. The Arkon-2M program was canceled by November 2012 to free funds for Arktika, Resurs and Obzor projects.
2014-2015: Russia to launch a solar telescope -- Koronas-4-Monitor -- to replace a failed Koronas-Foton spacecraft. (A February 2010 proposal from Astrophysics Institute at the National Nuclear Research University.) By the end of March 2010, a project to replace Koronas-Foton was identified as Solaris by the Solar System division within Space Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The division recommended Lebedev Physics Institute, FIAN, as a main developer of the satellite's payload. The issue of the spacecraft bus remained open at the time, with NPO Lavochkin's yet-to-be-flown Navigator platform as one of the contenders. Unlike Koronas-Foton, the new telescope was expected to be narrowly specialized in solar observations and it was to be inserted into very high orbit to minimize the shadow from Earth and the influence of the planet's radiation belt. As of April 2010, the project was yet to be approved for the inclusion into the Russian space program or to receive any funding.
2015: Russia to launch MKA FKI No. 5 ARKA orbital solar observatory. (Canceled in March 2014)
A Soyuz-2.1b rocket to launch the Arktika-R No. 1 satellite into the polar orbit for radar observations of the polar areas. Originally a pair of Arktika-R satellites was planned for launch in 2014, by the end of 2010, the introduction of the system slipped to 2015. (442) By 2012, the second Arktika-R satellite was postponed to 2016.
2016: Russia to launch Resurs-PM No. 1 remote-sensing satellite. (As of 2009, two Resurs-PM satellites were promised in 2015 and 2016 (388). However during 2010-2012, official plans listed a single Resurs-PM launch in 2016.)
2016: Russia to launch the Resurs-PM No. 2 remote-sensing satellite. (As of 2009 388)
2016: Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat-SB rocket to launch the Arkon-2M No. 2 remote-sensing satellites for all-weather radar observations of the Earth surface from a 550-600-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit. In 2010, a pair of spacecraft was scheduled for launch in 2013, however by 2012, the first Arkon-2M was expected to fly in 2015 and the second in 2016. The Arkon-2M program was canceled by November 2012.
This page is compiled by Anatoly Zak
Last update: June 24, 2016
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A Soyuz-2-1b rocket lifts off with the GLONASS-M-51 satellite on Feb. 7, 2016. Click to enlarge. Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense
As of 2011, the first CSO-1 (Composante Spatiale Optique) satellite was expected to fly on a Soyuz rocket in December 2016. Copyright © 2009 Anatoly Zak
As of 2014, a Pion-NKS spacecraft for radar and radio surveillance was promised to enter orbit in 2015. Credit: Arsenal
Blagovest military communications satellite. Credit: ISS Reshetnev