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19th Dnepr rocket launches cluster of satellites
A converted Russian ballistic missile launched a record-breaking number of small satellites Thursday during its 19th mission.
Previous chapter: Dnepr launcher
Above: Dnepr's payloads during its 19th mission. Credit: NADER's satellite blog.
The Dnepr rocket, converted from the R-36M UTTKh intercontinental ballistic missile, lifted off as scheduled on Nov. 21, 2013, at 11:10:11 Moscow Time (07:10:11 GMT) from a silo facility in Dombarovsky missile deployment area in Southern Russia.
The vehicle carried DubaiSat-2 and STSat-3 satellites as its primary cargo and a large group of small secondary payloads.
According to the Russian space officials, the launch vehicle successfully released all its satellites into their planned near-Sun-synchronous orbits with an inclination around 97 degrees toward the Equator.
The owners of the UniSat-5 satellite reported that, their payload separated at 07:25:48 GMT into a 634-kilometer orbit. Italian company GAUSS srl, which built UniSat-5 announced that ground operation stations in Italy and Spain have reported receiving data packets from the satellite indicating that the systems were functioning normally.
The mission was previously scheduled in October or November 2012. The rocket for this launch was manufactured at KB Yuzhnoe in Dnepropetrosvk in 1984 and was operationally deployed in Dombarovsky until 2009.
Payloads in Dnepr's 19th mission:
*Remains attached to the orbiting 3rd stage of the Dnepr launcher
An early list of payloads for this mission included DubaiSat-2, STSat-3, WNISat-1, SkySat-1, UniSat-5, AprizeSat-7, AprizeSat-8, GOMX-1, BRITE-PL (Lem), a BPA-3 payload, as well as containers holding several "cubesat" microsatellites: UWE-3, Ukube-1, NEE-01 Pegaso, Delfi-n3Xt, Triton 1/2, Cinema 2/3, FUNcube-1.
Next chapter: Dnepr's 20th mission
Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: June 19, 2014
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Dnepr lifts off from Dombarovsky on Nov. 21, 2013. Credit: Russia Today
The 300-kilogram DubaiSat-2 satellite was a primary payload during the 19th Dnepr mission on Nov. 21, 2013.
The 170-kilogram STSAT-3 satellite.
The 90-kilogram SkySat-1 satellite.
The 28-kilogram UniSat-5 spacecraft was designed to release eight satellites from its launch containers a month after reaching orbit. In turn, one of the released satellites -- PUCPSat-1 -- would then release its own sub-satellite.