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Friday, December 14, 2007
Raduga/Globus mil communication satellite launched
Information courtesy of the RussianForces.org Blog
On December 9, 2007 Russia successfully launched a Proton-M rocket from the launch pad No. 24 of the launch complex No. 81 of the Baykonur launch site. The launch took place at 03:16 MSK (00:16 UTC). The rocket, which was equipped with a Briz-M upper stage, deployed the satellite on an intermediate orbit with inclination of about 49 degrees. The satellite, which has not yet received official designation, appears to be a military communication relay satellite of the Globus-1/Raduga-1 class that will be eventually moved to a geosynchronous orbit. The satellite was given an international designation 2007-058A and the NORAD number 32373.
Satellites of this class normally receive a Raduga designation, so it is expected to become Raduga 1-8 (although it still may get "Cosmos" designation - in 2004 its predecessor, Raduga 1-7, was briefly designated as Cosmos).
The satellite will join two other active Raduga/Globus satellites - Raduga 1-5 (26477, launched on 28 August 2000, deployed in 45E) and Raduga 1-7 (28194, 27 March 2004, 85E). Raduga 1-4 (25642, 28 February 1999, 35E) ended its operations in November 2005, and Raduga 1-6 (26936, 6 October 2001, 70E) – in February 2006.
It should be noted that although it was officially announced that this launch was carried out “in the interest of the Ministry of Defense”, it was not included in the list of military launches for 2007 that were discussed in December 2006 and January 2007. Information about the launch became public only in October 2007. UPDATE 09/12/07: Space Forces representative was quoted as saying that the satelltie was given an official designation Cosmos-2434. According to the Space Forces, the launch is part of a flight test program of a new type of satellites.