Axelspace to Launch GRUS Satellites on Russian Soyuz Launch Vehicle in 2022

Soyuz-2 launch (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Japanese company Axelspace Corporation has signed a contract with GK Launch Services (a subsidiary of Glavkosmos, part of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation) for the launch of four GRUS satellites. The spacecraft will be launched on the Russian Soyuz-2 launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 2022.

The satellites will complement the existing AxelGlobe constellation, which currently consists of 5 satellites in orbit.

GRUS satellites are smaller than conventional Earth observation satellites, but capable of taking high-quality images with a resolution of 2.5 meters. The service initially started with a single satellite in May 2019, and from June 2021, five satellites started taking images, which encouraged the growth in the number of the service customers and the demand for the satellite data in various industries across the world.

Axelspace Corporation. Main business focus: Solutions based on microsatellite technology, design and production of microsatellites and related components, launch arrangements and operational support, business related to microsatellite data.

Soyuz Places Two Galileo Navigation Satellites into Orbit

Soyuz rocket lifts off with the Galileo 27 and 28 satellites. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Roscosmos PR) — In accordance with the flight program, two new European Galileo FOC M9 satellites have successfully separated from the Fregat upper stage. Navigation spacecraft are in target orbit and are taken over by the customer. The launch vehicles of the State Corporation Roscosmos – the Soyuz-ST-B launch vehicle and the Fregat upper stage – worked without comment.

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Last Week in the Dmitrys: Roscosmos, Glavkosmos Bosses Talk SpaceX, Tourism and More

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The International Astronautical Congress wrapped up last week in Dubai. Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin and Glavkosmos boss Dmitry Loskutov held forth during the conference on SpaceX, space tourism and other topics.

Roscosmos is the state-owned corporation that runs Russia’s space program. Glavkosmos is Roscosmos’ commercial arm.

Cosmonauts to fly on Crew Dragon: Rogozin said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon now has enough flights under its belt for Russian cosmonauts to fly aboard it. Crew Dragon has flown three crews to the International Space Station (ISS) and a group of amateur astronauts on a three-day orbital flight. Roscosmos and NASA will pursue a barter agreement that will allow U.S. astronauts to fly on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Before Crew Dragon began flights, NASA was paying Roscosmos $90 million per seat to fly its astronauts to ISS.

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Soyuz-2.1b Launch Vehicle with 34 OneWeb Satellites Installed on Launch Pad at Baikonur

Soyuz rocket with OneWeb satellites aboard. (Credit: Yuzhny/Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage and 34 OneWeb communications satellites was rolled out from the Assembly and Test Facility on Monday. The launch vehicle was installed on the launch pad of the Baikonur Сosmodrome, the launch is scheduled for Thursday, August 19, at 22:23 UTC.

Pre-launch activities are carried out under the contracts of Glavkosmos (a subsidiary of Roscosmos) with the European launch services provider Arianespace (the company operates launches of OneWeb spacecraft with the use of the Soyuz launch vehicle), and the company Starsem. The joint team of the foreign customers and the representatives of Roscosmos enterprises: Progress Space Rocket Center, Lavochkin Association, TsENKI and Glavkosmos, is carrying out these works.

Currently, the specialists at the spaceport are performing the technical operations. The pre-launch tests of the Soyuz-2.1b systems are being conducted, and the interfaces between the on-board instruments and ground equipment are being checked.

Now, the fleet of the OneWeb satellites in the low Earth orbit amounts to 254 spacecraft, and hundreds more are to be launched. The upcoming launch should bring the number of OneWeb spacecraft in orbit to 288. OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites are designed to provide consumers on the ground with high-speed Internet.

Glavkosmos and NPP Zvezda Discussed Possible Cooperation on Commercial Human Spaceflights

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The top management of Glavkosmos (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) visited the Zvezda Research and Production Enterprise in Tomilino, Moscow Region. Representatives of Glavkosmos and the leadership of NPP Zvezda held substantive negotiations, during which they discussed work on the implementation of contracts for the manufacture of spacesuits, cradles and chairs for the Indian manned program, as well as the manufacture of appropriate equipment for participants in the scientific and educational project “Challenge”.

All work under the contracts between Glavkosmos and NPP “Zvezda” is carried out by the enterprise in accordance with the schedule. In addition, the parties substantively discussed interaction in the field of new promising projects, including the use of many years of experience and production facilities of NPP “Zvezda” for the manufacture of individual flight equipment that will be used by commercial participants in space flights – tourists and researchers.

The possibility of commercial space flight participants using equipment manufactured by NPP Zvezda to provide spacewalks was discussed separately, in connection with the receipt of such requests by Glavkosmos.

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Glavkosmos  is a subsidiary of the Roscosmos State Corporation. The main task of the company is to promote the achievements of the Russian rocket and space industry to world markets and to manage complex international projects. For more than thirty years of the company’s history, more than 140 international contracts have been successfully implemented, including the launch of more than 150 spacecraft as an associated payload.

Zvezda Research and Production Enterprise is a leading enterprise in Russia in the field of creation and production of individual life support systems for pilots and cosmonauts, means of rescuing crews and passengers in case of aircraft accidents, systems for refueling aircraft in flight.

Glavkosmos Offers Spacewalks, Capsule Purchase to Space Billionauts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Glavkosmos is offering space tourists the option of performing spacewalks from the International Space Station (ISS) and stays of up to 30 days aboard the orbital laboratory. They can even purchase the Soyuz space capsule that took them to and from the station.

The company, which is part of Roscosmos, recently upgraded its website to provide details of what paying customers can do when they book a trip to the station. The information is available in Russian and English.

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A New Batch of OneWeb Satellites Arrives at Vostochny

OneWeb satellites arrive at Vostchny Cosmodrome in may 2021. (Credit: Glavkosmos)

VOSTOCHNY, Russia (Glavkosmos PR) — A new batch of 36 OneWeb satellites arrived at Ignatievo airport (Blagoveshchensk) by an An-124-100 aircraft on Thursday. The specialists of the Vostochny Cosmodrome (a branch of TsENKI, part of Roscosmos) transported the satellites to the cosmodrome.

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Indian Cosmonaut Candidates Complete Training Program in Russia

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos, on March 22, 2021, held a meeting with Indian cosmonauts candidates who successfully completed general space training in Russia. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Mr. D.B. Venkatesh Varma, and representatives of subsidiaries of the State Corporation Roscosmos, who took part in the training of Indian candidates for cosmonauts.

The Indian ambassador thanked Rogozin for supporting the training program for Indian cosmonauts. The contract for the training of Indian candidates for space flight between the Glavkosmos company (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) and the Manned Space Flight Center of the Indian Space Research Organization was signed on June 27, 2019. Cosmonaut Training Center named after Yu.A. Gagarin on February 10, 2020 began the planned training of Indian astronaut candidates.

The entire process of preparation and training took place on the territory of Russia and included a number of elements necessary for future cosmonauts, such as medical and physical training, studying the Russian language, studying the design, layout and systems of the Soyuz transport manned spacecraft.

Soyuz Rocket Launches 38 Satellites into Orbit

Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifts off from Baikonur with 38 satellites. (Credit: Glavkosmos webcast)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — This morning, March 22, 2021, the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft on board was launched from the launch pad No. 31 of the Baikonur cosmodrome. 

After 1 hour and 3 minutes after the launch, the main payload was separated – the South Korean satellite for Earth remote sensing CAS500-1. At the moment, after processing telemetry information, the upper stage has successfully completed all stages of the program for placing the remaining 37 spacecraft into target orbits.

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Scrubbed Soyuz Launch Rescheduled for Monday

Soyuz 2 rocket on the launch pad.

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — At the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 20, 2021, a meeting of the commission was held, during which the results of tests of the Soyuz-2.1a space rocket were considered after a technical malfunction revealed this morning. After hearing the reports of the work supervisors, the members of the commission decided to launch the launch on the morning of Monday, March 22, 2021.

Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos : “At Baikonur, the State Commission decided to repeat on March 21 the checks of the Launch Readiness Control Set (LCC) mode of the Fregat upper stage. If the results of the KNSG regime are positive, the launch is scheduled for Monday, March 22.”

As part of the first commercial launch of the Glavkosmos Launch Services, the South Korean spacecraft for remote sensing of the Earth CAS500-1, the apparatus for removing space debris ELSA-d and satellites for remote sensing of the Earth GRUS from Japan, a small spacecraft of Saudi Arabia for Earth imaging and communications NAJM-1, communications satellites of the Technical University of Berlin.

In addition, the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage will launch the first satellite of the Higher School of Economics ERS, the CubeSat of the Sirius Educational Center and the Higher School of Economics, as well as the Orbikraft-Zorky satellite of the Russian company Sputniks and others. A total of 38 spacecraft from 18 countries will be launched into orbit.

Glavkosmos, Orbital Express to Cooperate in Promoting Services to the Global Space Market

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Glavkosmos (part of Roscosmos) and the Russian private company Orbital Express have signed an agreement on cooperation in promoting services to the global space market with the help of the Russian rocket and space technology. The document was signed on Thursday at the Glavkosmos headquarters in Moscow. 

“Glavkosmos welcomes the initiative of Russian private NewSpace companies to enter the foreign space market,” says Dmitry Loskutov, Director General of Glavkosmos. “We hope that the interaction between Glavkosmos and Orbital Express will be successful. We believe that it will have a positive impact on the development of Russian rocket and space technologies.”

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Orbital Space Tourism is Back, Baby! And on Steroids

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NewSpacers of the world, rejoice! After a 12-year gap, orbital space tourism is back! And it’s bigger and more expensive than ever. The only bad news: Maverick will stay grounded — at least for now.

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Russian Company to Provide Spacesuits for India

Indian astronaut in training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Research, Development & Production Enterprise Zvezda under the contract of Glavkosmos with the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has started manufacturing personal flight equipment for the Indian cosmonauts undergoing training in Russia.

“On September 3, Indian cosmonauts who have been training for a spaceflight in Russia under the contract of Glavkosmos, visited Zvezda, where their anthropometric parameters were measured for the subsequent production of spacesuits. The contract also provides for the production of individual seats and custom-made couch liners,” said CEO of Glavkosmos Dmitry Loskutov.

The contract for the production and delivery of individual equipment kits for Indian cosmonauts was signed by Glavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of ISRO on March 11, 2020. Indian cosmonauts have been training in Russia since February 10, 2020.

Exolaunch & Glavkosmos Announce Soyuz Launch Campaign for 15 Small Satellites

Rideshare mission (Credit: Exolaunch)

Exolaunch’s small satellite cluster of 15 microsatellites and cubesats ,“Wanderlust, Desire To Travel”, will launch on Soyuz as soon as September 2020.

Berlin, August 17th, 2020 – Exolaunch, a Berlin-based rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, and Glavkosmos, a single operator of foreign commercial activities of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, have initiated a launch campaign for 15 international small satellites onboard a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage. As soon as September 2020, Soyuz-2 will deliver a cluster of small satellites into orbit as rideshare payloads on a Roscosmos mission.

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Indian Pilots Resume Astronaut Training in Russia

Indian astronaut in training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

STAR CITY, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — The Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) on May 12 resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

All four Indian cosmonauts undergoing training in Russia are in good health and feel fine. The health of Indian cosmonauts is carefully protected: GCTC continues to observe anti-epidemic regulations according to which sanitary and hygienic measures are carried out at all the GCTC facilities, social distancing measures are applied and the presence of unauthorized persons is restricted; all employees and cosmonauts must wear medical masks and gloves.

This week, the GCTC specialists are giving theoretical classes on the basics of astrogation, the basics of manned spacecraft control and the Russian language to the Indian cosmonauts.

The contract for the training of Indian cosmonauts between Glavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation was signed on June 27, 2019.

Their training in Russia started on February 10, 2020. Since the end of this March, due to the global pandemic of a new coronavirus infection, a lockdown was recommended for the Indian cosmonauts which they carefully observed.