PLESETSK, June 7 (RIA Novosti) – A Soyuz-2.1B carrier rocket orbited a military satellite on Friday, the defense ministry’s spokesman in charge of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces said.
The rocket blasted off from the Plesetsk launch site in Russia’s north at 22:37 Moscow time on Friday.
“The spacecraft separated from the third stage of the rocket as scheduled,” Col. Dmitry Zenin said.
According to previous reports, the satellite is the second in the new Persona series of electro-optical reconnaissance satellites based on the Resurs DK remote sensing satellite.
The first Persona satellite (Kosmos 2441) was launched onto a sun synchronous orbit in July 2008 but reportedly malfunctioned in February 2009 due to a failure in electronic components.
Russia operates a network of about 60-70 military reconnaissance satellites, featuring updated imaging technology and an extended lifetime of up to seven years, according to open sources.