MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will launch on Tuesday three Cosmos series military-purpose satellites, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.
A Rokot launch vehicle carrying the satellites will lift off from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia.
“The Rokot carrier rocket has been installed on a launch pad. It will put three Cosmos military satellites into orbit,” Aerospace Defense Forces spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.
The blastoff had initially been scheduled for December 8, but was postponed due to malfunctions in the Briz-KM booster.
The light-class Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM, in conjunction with an upper-stage block containing the Breeze-KM booster and space-bound payloads.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a total of 16 Rokot launches have been carried out from the Plesetsk site since the first launch on May 16, 2000.
However, Rokot launches have been suspended for about 18 months after it failed to put the Geo-IK-2 military satellite into the designated orbit on February 1, 2011.
In the first launch of Rokot in more than a year, a rocket with a Cosmos class military satellite and three civilian satellites on board blasted off on July 28, 2012.