Russia launches spy satellite to expand its orbital cluster

Russia Thursday successfully launched a new spy satellite for use by its military that expands the orbital cluster of its military satellites.

Updated: May 27, 2010, 11:13 AM IST

Moscow: Russia Thursday successfully launched a new spy satellite for use by its military that expands the orbital cluster of its military satellites.

The satellite commissioned as Kosmos-2463, was launched 6.35 hrs IST from the northern Plesetsk cosmodrome in Archangelsk region with the help of Kosmos-3M booster rocket.

"The aim of spacecraft launch is to expand the orbital cluster of Russian military satellites," Spokesman of the Space Forces Lt Col Alexei Zolotukhin was quoted as saying by reports, which did not give any other details.

According to earlier reports, the Russian military has a cluster of 60-70 spy and telecom satellites in orbit.
A similar satellite was launched in last July, along with a civilian spacecraft with the help of Kosmos-3M launch vehicle.

Kosmos-3M, a two-stage liquid fuel propelled rocket has been in service since 1967 and can place up to 1.5 ton payload at various orbits.
After over 400 successful launches this vehicle would be shortly replaced by newer `Rokot` and `Angara" launch vehicles, according space officials.

PTI