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Default Soyuz-U launch with EgyptSat-2, April 16, 2014
by Galactic Penguin SST 04-16-2014, 01:12 PM

It's not exactly a high-fanfare launch, but I'll take it anyway......

Today Egypt's second Earth observation satellite, EgyptSat-2, is ready for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Built by the Russian aerospace giant RSC Energia using a new satellite platform, the 1.05 tonne satellite has a maximum resolution of 1 meter in panoramic mode and 4 meters for multi-spectral images. It will be orbited by a surplus Soyuz-U rocket (without any upper stage) directly into a 700 km high, 50 degree inclination orbit.

This is the 2nd satellite for the Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences - the first one is a small satellite built by Yuzhnoye of Ukraine and operated between 2007 and 2010. So apparently the nation has seen dramatic changes between signing of contract and launching of this satellite....

Launch location:

Baikonur Launch pad no. 31/6 4559'46.16"N, 6333'51.29"E

Launch times
Time ZoneAustralia - Sydney/AESTBaikonur (UTC+6)Moscow / MSKS (UTC+4)/Universal / UTCWashington / EDT
Launch time:02:20:0022:20:0020:20:0016:20:0012:20:00
on:Apr. 17, 2014Apr. 16, 2014Apr. 16, 2014Apr. 16, 2014Apr. 16, 2014
*Click here to restart the timer* EgyptSat-2 Launch

Live Coverage Of The Launch:

TSENKI video streams (Russian + English)


EgyptSat-2 spacecraft

Spacecraft Overview
In 2007, the Egyptian government made its first attempt to acquire its own high-resolution surveillance satellite with the launch of the Egyptsat-1 spacecraft built in Ukraine. However the satellite failed prematurely after more than three years of operation. Although Egypt apparently continued working with the Ukrainian KB Yuzhnoe design bureau on a follow-on project, Cairo received a bid from Moscow to supply a state-of-the-art "eye in the sky". In 2009, after around four years of negotiations, Egypt awarded a contract to Russia for the development of a high-resolution imaging satellite. In Moscow, the project was officially handled by Rosoboroneksport, the government-owned company specialized in exports of military technology. However the actual development of the spacecraft was delegated to RKK Energia based in Korolev near Moscow and renown around the world for its leading role in the nation's manned space flight. The company also built the ill-fated BelKA imaging satellite in cooperation with the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

RKK Energia's new imaging satellite was originally known as E-Star, but it was eventually re-christened Egyptsat-2, as a parallel name-sake effort between Egypt and Ukraine had been delayed from 2013 to at least 2015.

RKK Energia based the E-Star/Egyptsat-2 design on its latest concept of an imaging satellite designated 559GK. In turn, the 559GK satellite derived from RKK Energia's experience during the development of the Yamal-100 communications satellite. It was the company's first spacecraft platform whose electronics and other systems were hardened to function in the vacuum of space, rather than inside failure-prone pressurized compartments, thus dramatically increasing the satellite's operational life span. RKK Energia also relied on the flight control system originally developed for the new-generation Yamal-300 satellite to build Egyptsat's computer brain.

The satellite was reportedly equipped with electric engines using xenon gas as propellant to enter its operational orbit and to conduct orbit corrections.

In its overall architecture, the 559GK satellite appeared similar to the latest-generation Earth-watching satellites developed in the West, such as Pleiades. Like Pleiades, the one-ton Egyptsat-2 was assigned for launch on the Soyuz-U rocket into a 700-kilometer orbit, even though this rocket could deliver almost four times more payload into a comparable altitude.

  • Egyptian National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences
Prime contractor:
  • RSC Energia
Mass at Separation:
  • 1050 kg
  • 3 axis stabilized
  • ?
Life time:
  • 11 years
Spatial resolution:
  • Panchromatic: 1 m
  • Multi-spectral: 4 m
Imaging Swath:
  • 1400 km
Pointing Accuracy:
  • Pointing accuracy up to 1 arc-minute
  • Angular velocity accuracy up to 0.001-0.002 degree/second
  • Spacecraft orientation accuracy up to 3-6 arc-minutes
  • Re-targeting speed up to 2 degrees/second
Operation orbit:
  • 700 km circular orbit, inclination ~50 degrees
  • ~3000 W

Prime contractor:
  • Samara Space Sentre (Energia Holding enterprise)
GRAU Index:
  • 11A511U
51.1 m
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

The vehicle's reliability statistics according to http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/log2014.html#rate:

Vehicle     Successes/Tries Realzd Pred  Consc. Last     Dates    
                             Rate  Rate* Succes Fail    
Soyuz-U          748   768x   .97  .97     11    8/24/11  1973-

x Does not include Soyuz-U/Soyuz T-10-1 pre-launch fire that 
   resulted in escape tower firing saving crew, but destroying 
   launch vehicle on 9-26-1983.  Note that 10 additional 
   Soyuz-U launches with Ikar or Fregat upper stages (all 
   successful) are cataloged separately.
Weather forecast for Baikonur, Kazakhstan for April 16, 2014 (10 p.m.)

A clear sky. Low 4C. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h.

TimeTempsDew PointRelative HumidityPrecipCloudsPressureWindWeather
10 PM13C-3C32%0%0%1026 hPaNE 14 km/h Clear

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Old 04-16-2014, 04:30 PM   #3
Galactic Penguin SST
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Nominal flight - spacecraft has separated into orbit.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:35 AM   #5
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The satellite was put into a 430 x 700 km x 51.6 degree orbit, where apparently it will raise its apogee using its ion thrusters (yes on a LEO sat!). This is also apparently RSC Energia's first try in making a satellite without a pressurized satellite bus.

Originally Posted by IronRain View Post
Here's a less laggy version:

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