Russian space activities in 2019
PLANNED RUSSIAN SPACE MISSIONS:
Feb. 7: A Soyuz-2 (ST-B) rocket to launch a OneWeb Pilot Internet communications satellite from the ELS complex in Kourou, French Guiana. The launch was originally planned for November 2018, but by August of that year, the mission had to be postponed until February 2019, apparently due to delays with the production of the spacecraft. As a result of a domino effect of delays, the first launch of OneWeb satellites from Baikonur was now possible no earlier than the end of summer of beginning of fall 2019. The first launch of the satellites from Vostochny slipped to 2020.
Feb. 8: A Soyuz-2-1a rocket to launch the Progress MS-11 cargo ship from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS. As of 2014, the launch was scheduled for April 16, 2018. The assembly of the vehicle was completed in September 2018. After its delivery to Baikonur, the spacecraft was unloaded from its rail container and installed in its test rig for initial checks on Sept. 12, 2018. In the wake of the air leak incident aboard the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft in orbit in August 2018, Progress MS-11 underwent an additional inspection. The cargo ship was then put in storage until the start of its launch campaign in November 2018. In the fall of 2018, the mission was rescheduled from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, 2019. The launch vehicle for the mission arrived at Baikonur around the middle of October 2018.
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. According to original deal struck in 2014, the Yamal 601 satellite, weighing over 5,700 kilograms, was to be built by Thales Alenia Space on the flight proven Spacebus-4000 platform. 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.
However after the events in Crimea later that year, the contract was re-written to base the project on the platform developed at ISS Reshetnev in Russia, while leaving the communications payload to be supplied by Thales.
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 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, promising the launch in February 2016.
In July 2016, Moscow-based Sberbank provided Gazprom with five lines of credit totaling 22 billion rubles for the development of the Yamal-601 satellite, its ground infrastructure, its launch and insurance.
By April 2017, the mission slipped to the end of 2018. The launch date was confirmed in September 2017.
On April 6, 2018, RIA Novosti quoted head of Gazprom KS Nikolai Sevastyanov promising the launch in January 2019. By July 2018, the launch was re-scheduled for February 2019.
Feb. 27 - April 11 (Postponed from September 2018): A Proton-M/Block-DM-03 rocket to launch the Spektr-RG X-ray observatory. (As of April-June 2014, the launch was postponed from March 26, 2016, to 2017. By the end of 2015, the launch was planned for Sept. 25, 2017.).
March: A Proton-M/Briz-M rocket to launch from Baikonur with a pair of satellites built by Orbital ATK: Eutelsat-5 West-B and the first Mission Extension Vehicle, MEV-1. The Eutelsat-5 West B satellite is based on Orbital ATK's GEOstar platform and carries communications payload developed at Airbus Defense and Space. During its ride to orbit on the Proton, Eutelsat-5 West-B will be stacked on top of the MEV-1 satellite. The two-launch agreement between Eutelsat and the International Launch Services, ILS, which markets Proton rockets to comercial customers, was announced on October 12, 2016. The deal also included the first order for the yet-to-be developed Proton-Medium rocket to carry an unidentified payload for Eutelsat in 2019 or 2020. The agreements for both launches were pre-arranged in a preliminary deal between ILS and Eutelsat, first announced in October of 2015. By July 2018, the mission had to be postponed from the the fourth quarter of 2018 to March 2019, until after the launch of Yamal-601 satellite, due to delays with the delivery of Eutelsat and MEV satellites.
March 14: A Soyuz-2-1a rocket to launch a Soyuz MS-12 (No. 742) manned transport spacecraft with a crew of three from Baikonur toward the International Space Station, ISS. (The launch was previously planned for March 7.)
April: A Soyuz-2-1a rocket to launch Meteor-M No. 2-2 meteorological satellite (postponed from October). The Soyuz-2-1b rocket for the mission arrived at Vostochny on June 18, 2018, and its launch was originally planned for Dec. 6, 2018, and the first quarter of 2019. By October 2018, the mission was postponed until April 2019, at the earliest.
July 24: A Soyuz-2-1a rocket to launch a Soyuz MS-13 (No. 743) manned transport spacecraft with a crew of three from Baikonur toward the International Space Station, ISS. The mission was postponed from July 10.
Fourth quarter: Russia to launch the Ekspress-80 and Ekspress-103 communications satellites. The joint launch of two satellitew was originally promised in 2018, but as of 2016, the mission slipped to the fourth quarter of 2019. On Jan. 31, 2018, Roskosmos announced that the payload structure module for Ekspress-80 arrived to Rome from ISS Reshetnev and was undergoing acceptance checks at Thales Alenia Space Italy by a team of engineers including specialists from Reshetnev.
When first announced in 2006, the Lybid spacecraft was expected to fly in 2010, but it was later postponed until September 2011. In April 2010, the launch was promised in April 2012. However, according to the Yuzmash production plant in Dnipro, Ukraine, it received an order for the Zenit rocket to launch Lybid in 2011. In the meantime, the mission was delayed until the fourth quarter of 2013. In August 2014, Ukrainian space agency said that the spacecraft would be ready for launch in the fourth quarter of that year, however political problems between Russia and Ukraine kept the spacecraft on the ground.
Only in March 2017, there were first signs that the Lybid program might have a chance to get off the ground. In an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Acting Head of Ukrainian Space Agency, GKAU, Yuri Radchenko said that before the end of that month, the Yuzhmash factory in Dnepr, Ukraine, was expected to pay Moscow-based NPO Energomash for the RD-171 engine to be installed on the fully assembled first stage of the Zenit rocket slated to launch Lybid. At the same time, industry sources said that personnel at Yuzhmash had began testing a fully assembled second stage of the Zenit for the Lybid mission.
As of September 2017, the launch of the Lybid satellite was postponed from the end of the year to the first quarter of 2018. Within a month, the launch date was narrowed down to the Jan. 1-10, 2018, period. However on Jan. 11, 2018, Yuzmash announced that it had been waiting for $8.245 million to complete the manufacturing of the Zenit rocket for the mission, which was now officially under an order from the TsENKI launch infrastructure center, a division of the Roskosmos State Corporation. By taking the formal ownership of the launcher, TsENKI, likely provided a political cover for the Lybid launch, necessary under the conditions of mutual sanctions between Moscow and Kiev. As of February 2018, it was unclear whether the satellite could be launched before the end of the year.
2019: A Soyuz rocket to launch Resurs-P No. 5 satellite. (As of beginning of 2018).
2019: A Soyuz rocket with a Fregat upper stage to launch the second pair of a quartet of satellites to study plasma within the Roy ("Swarm") project from Plesetsk. Each 200-kilogram spacecraft would be based on the Karat platform with plasma-electric engines and carry around 60 kilograms of payload. The scientific payload would be based on the Strannik experiment. (612). Each spacecraft would carry a single magnitometer boom and four booms for measurement of the magnetic field.
2019: Russia to launch the Okean No. 1 ocean-monitoring satellite. (As of 2010-2012)
2019: Russia to complete the orbital deployment of the Obzor-O four-satellite remote-sensing constellation. (As of October 2012)
2019: A Soyuz-2-1b rocket to launch a cluster of four Rezonans spacecraft to study plasma and the magnetic field around the Earth. The same launch would also deploy MKA-FKI No. 4/Karat spacecraft carrying the Strannik plasma-research payload. In 2008, the launch was promised as early as 2012, 299 and later in 2013. By 2009, the mission was planned in 2014, (388) however by the beginning of the year it was postponed to 2017-2018. Moreover, at the COSPAR conference in the summer of 2014, the launch was promised no earlier than 2019.
2019: An Angara rocket to fly its first mission from a newly completed launch pad in Vostochny Cosmodrome, possibly with an unmanned prototype of the PTK NP spacecraft. (A statement by the head of TsNIIMash research institute Gennady Raikunov on December 3, 2012, promised the first launch of PTK NP on Angara in 2018.)
This page is compiled by Anatoly Zak; Last update: November 7, 2018
Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: April 30, 2011
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An artist rendering of the Node Module (right). Click to enlarge. Copyright © 2015 Anatoly Zak
A scale model of Luna-Glob lander presented at the Paris Air and Space Show in Le Bourget in June 2013. Copyright © 2013 Claude Mourier