A Christmas Eve launch took place on December 24 as a geostationary weather satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The satellite was carried into space with the help of a Proton Booster and Block DM upper state.
The satellite traveled for more than six hours before it reached a high-altitude orbit at a distance of 22,000 miles (or 35,400 kilometers) above the surface of the planet. Most of the heavy-duty task was performed by the Proton rocket, which is fitted with six RD-276 main engines. The engines are fueled with hydrazine and generate an impressive force.
During the launch, the second and third state engines were fired without problems, and the Block DM upper stage was deployed after ten minutes since the liftoff took place. The DM upper stage, which relies on kerosene and liquid oxygen to operate, ignited the main engines without issues, making the satellite into a preliminary orbit. A final orbit trajectory was achieved, and the satellite was released.
Russia Launched A New Geostationary Weather Satellite
According to a press statement, the satellite was built by NPO Lavochkin, a Russian aerospace contractor. The Elektro-L 3 satellite will join two other Elektro-L satellites, which were launched in the past.
The manufacturer confirmed that the satellite reached the desired orbit, and contact was made with the ground controllers. The satellite is equipped with solar panels that will allow it to absorb energy and follow a specific trajectory over the equator. Its speed should match the rate at which Earth spins. This will enable the satellite to track the Russian Far East, the Asia-Pacific Area, and a significant section of the Atlantic Ocean.
The group of Elektro-L satellites will provide valuable data to the Russian Federal Service of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring. Among the data, we can count images of storm systems and clouds. The satellites also measure the state of seas and specific temperatures.