BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, August 5, 2019 (Roscosmos PR) — The Proton-M heavy-class carrier rocket launched at 21:56 UTC on August 5, 2019 successfully put Russia’s Ministry of Defence spacecraft into the intended orbit.
The launch of the carrier rocket and injection of the satellite into
orbit using the Briz-M booster went as planned. The spacecraft was taken
under control by the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Centre
of the Russian Space Forces.
The United States said this week that a Russian satellite launched last year is exhibiting “very abnormal behavior” in orbit, suggesting that it is a weapons system rather than a “space apparatus inspector” as claimed by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“In October of last year the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed a space object they claimed was a ‘space apparatus inspector,'” said Yleem D.S. Poblete, assistant secretary at the U.S. Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. “But its behavior on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities.”