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  Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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A Russian carrier rocket Soyuz-FG was launched from Baikonur cosmodrome at 03:28 Moscow time on Sunday
A Russian carrier rocket Soyuz-FG was launched from Baikonur cosmodrome at 03:28 Moscow time on Sunday (2328 GMT Saturday) with a US communications satellite Galaxy-14 on board, an official at the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has told Itar-Tass. The satellite is to be put into a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. The official said, "The satellite, which weighs 2,086 kilograms, has been developed by the Orbital Science Corporation (OSC) on the state-of-the-art Star-2 platform to augment the telecom space assets of PanAmSat Corporation. It will be put into a geostationary orbit at a subsatellite point of 125 degrees, western longitude ". The Roscosmos official said the Galazy-14 is designed to ensure the reception and transmission of commercial television signals in the United States and provide Internet services. The satellite is built to operate for no less than 15 years. The satellite platform Star-2 is the most up-to-date product of the OSC development efforts. It is intended for the creation on its basis of small and medium-sized geostationary communications spacecraft. The functioning of the onboard relay system is ensured by an onboard four-kilowatt power source. The platform is also provided with two solar-cell panels. By means of the Soyuz-FG rocket and the acceleration unit Fregat (Frigate), the Galaxy-14 will be put into a geotransfer orbit. The satellite will then ascend to the designated orbit on its own by means of its own propulsion plant. An estimated time of the satellite's arrival at the designated orbit is 05:05 Moscow time Sunday (0205 GMT). The Roscosmos official said earlier, "The emergence of relatively lightweight communications satellites the kind of Galaxy-14 reflects a number of tendencies in the creation and development of commsat clusters". Such satellites are believed to be more economical and effective as compared with large spacecraft weighing up to five tonnes, he pointed out. The Soyuz-FG rocket has been developed and manufactured at the Samara-based Progress design bureau while the acceleration unit Fregat has been devised at the Lavochkin research and production association.
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