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Default Cobalt-M (Cosmos-2480) atop Soyuz-U on May 17, 2012
by SiberianTiger 05-17-2012, 01:05 PM

With the good lighting conditions setting in the Northern Hemisphere, we now have another strategic optical survelliance Russian sat launched.

Cosmos-2480 is expected to be the formal designation for Cobalt-M spacecraft to be launched today by Russian Space Force. Cobalt-M is an optical survelliance satellite which uses film camera and return capsule to deliver the shot footage to the ground at the end of its mission, which can last for several months and include several alterations of its orbit.





Launch location:

Plesetsk Launch pad no. 16/2 6257'35.83"N, 4040'56.22"E

Launch dates and times:

Launch times
Time Zone
Australia - Sydney/AEST
Hong Kong / HKT, UTC+8/
Moscow Summer / MSK, UTC+4/
Universal / UTC
Washington / EDT
Launch time (Primary):
12:05:00 a.m.
10:05:00 p.m.
18:05:00
14:05:00
10:05:00 a.m.
on:
May 18, 2012
May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012
*Click here to restart the timer* Cosmos-2480 Launch

Live Coverage Of The Launch:

None, sorry.

PAYLOAD

Cobalt-M photo film-returning reconnaissnace satellite

Characteristics
Cobalt-M (AKA Yantar-4K2M, Yantar means Amber)
Picture:
GRAU Index:
  • 11F695U
Customer:
  • Russian MoD.
Prime contractor:
  • PLC Arsenal Machine Building Plant, St. Petersburg
Platform:
  • Yantar-M (?)
Mass at Separation:
  • 6600 kg
Dry Mass:
  • ?
Stabilization:
  • 3 axis stabilized
Dimensions:
  • ?
Batteries:
  • ?
Mission time:
  • 60 to 120 days
Typical initial orbit:
  • 170 x 330 km, 62.8-67.2 inclination
Survelliance Payload:
Film Camera with 300-mm lens produced by Lytkarino Factory of Optical Systems
Data Returning:
Two ball-shaped strap-on film return capsules plus the main reentry vehicle used to deliver back the camera and the main load of film.

Mission Profile:

Inclination for this launch is expected to be 82, initial orbit is about 185 * 250 km.

Launch Vehicle:

Characteristics
Soyuz-U
Prime contractor:
  • Samara Space Sentre (Energia Holding enterprise)
GRAU Index:
  • 11A511U
Height:
51.1 m
Diameter:
max 10.3 m
Liftoff mass:
313 metric tonnes
Payload mass:
6.95 tonnes at ISS orbit from Baikonur
1st stage (boosters B, V, G, D):
  • 4 X RD-117 engines
  • Propellants (T-1 Kerosene and LOX)
  • Thrust/ISP in vacuum - / 316 s
  • Thrust/ISP at sea level 79.4 tonnes / 253 s
  • Total 1st stage's thrust at sea level: 411.1 tonnes
2nd stage (core A):
  • 1 X RD-118 engine
  • Propellants (T-1 Kerosene and LOX)
  • Thrust/ISP in vacuum 102 tonnes / 314 s
  • Thrust/ISP at sea level 83.5 tonnes / 257 s
3rd stage (block I):
  • 1 X RD-0110 engine
  • Propellants (T-1 Kerosene and LOX)
  • Thrust/ISP in vacuum 30.38 tonnes / 359 s

Launch Complex:

The launch will be performed off LC 2 at site 16.


Weather forecast for Plesetsk, Russia on May 17, 2012 (6 p.m.)

TimeTempsWindChillHeat IndexUV IndexDew PointRelative HumidityPrecipSnowCloudsVisibilityWindWeather
6 PM25C25C25C1Low10C40%10%0%29%16KMSSE 3.6 m/s M Sunny

Sunrise/Sunset and associated twilight times for Plesetsk on Thursday, May 17, 2012

Times are local.
EventTime
Astronomical twilight beginsNever
Nautical twilight beginsNever
Civil twilight begins2:39
Sunrise4:05
Transit (sun is at its highest)13:14
Sunset0:24
Civil twilight ends1:50
Nautical twilight endsNever
Astronomical twilight endsNever


References
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com
http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru
http://www.russianspaceweb.com
www.svengrahn.pp.se
http://www.planet4589.org
http://www.samspace.ru
http://www.npoenergomash.ru/engines/
http://intellicast.com
http://www.good-stuff.co.uk/suntimes/sunmap.php
http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Forecast.aspx
http://www.good-stuff.co.uk/suntimes/sunmap.php
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #2
Yoda
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Isn't that kinda old technology to still be using film versus digital media ?
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
 Isn't that kinda old technology to still be using film versus digital media ?
That's asked every time this thing flies.

The reasons are:
  • Better resolution of the film compared to digital matrices available for Russia.
  • Poor data relay infrastructure.
  • No need for instant delivery of information.
  • The camera can be recycled upon return.
  • We are still sorry for Laika.

Last edited by SiberianTiger; 05-17-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
boogabooga
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I have a personal theory that the purpose of the X-37 is to be a reusable spy sat which can return its own film. Film return has some advantages.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Isn't that kinda old technology to still be using film versus digital media ?
Even better : numerical transmissions can always be intercepted and decoded. A capsule with analog data inside it, as long as it lands on the right spot, is way safer.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:12 PM   #6
Galactic Penguin SST
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Launched right on time.

http://ria.ru/science/20120517/651437640.html
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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The launch has commenced, according to RIA Novosti.
http://ria.ru/science/20120517/651437640.html
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
orb
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NASASpaceflight: Russian Soyuz-U launches Kobalt-M satellite:
Quote:
{...} with the lift off time given as 3:05pm GMT. {...}
Really? In 47 minutes?
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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Roscosmos (http://www.roscosmos.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=19097):

At 18:13 MSK the spacecraft has successfully separated from the booster and was followed on tracking by the ground control.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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A launch photo:

Also according to Alexei Zolotukhin (spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defence) this launch is the last launch of the Soyuz-U from Plesetsk. A total of 435 Soyuz-U rockets flew from the four Soyuz pads at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome since its first flight in 1973.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:40 PM   #11
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Smile

According to the unofficial custom of Plesetsk launch teams, the satellite was given a "female" proper name.

This one was names Королева Бензоколонки ("Gas Station Queen"), which is a cultural reference to a Soviet comedy movie of the 60's.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:27 AM   #12
Galactic Penguin SST
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Photos

Some more decent shots of this launch (Credit: Igor Marinin / Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine)













































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Old 06-15-2012, 04:22 AM   #13
NovaSilisko
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I can think of some captions for these pictures...



"The launch technicians decide whether to tackle the brushfires ignited by the rocket now or after lunch"
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