Orbital Focus - International Spaceflight Facts and Figures
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Launches and Orbital Operations

Tyneside, UK
2024 Jun 15
Saturday, Day 167

Curated by:

Mission Events 2022:

Mission Events 2021:

Mission Events 2020:





The text below was written pre-launch. Snippets of information released through Roscosmos and Russian news outlets have allowed reconstruction of an approximate launch trajectory as shown by the map above. The 1000 km figure should be treated with particular caution.


Launch is expected February 28, 06:55 UTC. A Soyuz-2 1B rocket will put its upper stage and the satellite with its attached Fregat stage into a sub-orbital trajectory. The Soyuz upper stage will hit the top of the Earth's atmosphere about 44 minutes after launch for a destructive re-entry.

Soon after separating from the Soyuz, the Fregat stage will make a short firing to put itself and the satellite into LEO. Perigee will be less than 200 km but apogee could be 500 km or more. A second Fregat firing near southern apex of the orbit will be used to produce a new apogee high above the northern hemisphere.

Aligning a ground track through the matching debris warning zones for both air and oceanic routes with Baikonur suggests that the initial track out of the cosmodrome will be around 60° inclination. The central Russian warnings also reveal reserve windows for the launch on March 1 and March 2. They move five minutes earlier per day - consistent with the expected ~60° inclination HEO.

As Arktika crosses the equator northbound about 100 minutes after launch a third firing of Fregat is likkely be used to set the final inclination of 63°.4 and the ~40,000 km apogee of the drift orbit. After that, Fregat will release the satellite.

After a few days, when the ground track reaches its planned location on the Earth's surface, the satellite will fire its own engine to stabilise the location and keep it repeating from day to day.

Pacific Ocean Air Navigation Warning

Pacific Ocean Maritime Navigation Warning

Central Russia Air Navigation Warnings

Page Date - 2021 Feb 25
Updated - 2021 Feb 27
Map updated - 2021 Feb 28

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