Belarusian satellite launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan
The launch took place at 9.41am (Minsk time) on July 22nd
The 400kg Belarusian satellite was launched into space on the Soyuz-FG space rocket (coupled with its ‘Fregat’ upper stage), in a cluster of five, with two Russian spacecraft, one German and one Canadian. Within approximately 43 minutes, it was inserted into the orbit which is close to its working orbit.
At around 500-520km above the planet, this will ensure full space surveillance of Belarusian territory, with panchromatic resolution to around 2m. The satellite has high dynamic characteristics and is highly manoeuvrable, to allow prompt movement while in orbit, to gain the necessary shooting angle. Moreover, it gives Belarus an opportunity to create its own independent remote sensing of Earth, to avoid reliance on the services of other states in receiving and processing space data.
Mikhail Zakharevich, a senior research officer at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, tells us that it took exactly 2,674 seconds from launch to orbit. He adds, “The ‘Soyuz-FG’ rocket carrier was launched from Baikonur launching site, placing the satellite in reverse orbit inclination (at an angle of more than 90 degrees); we are against with the Earth’s rotation, which uses more energy.”
Oleg Semenov, the Deputy Chief Constructor of the Belarusian remote sensing system of the Earth and chief engineer at the National Academy of Sciences’ Geoinformation Systems enterprise, announced from Minsk’s Flight Control Centre that the Belarusian satellite will be working in conjunction with the Russian Kanopus-B satellite.
“The working efficiency of the pair increases over a range of fulfilled operations and functions,” he underlines. “This is an opportunity to organise regimes which couldn’t be realised with a single satellite.”
Mr. Semenov explains that data from the two satellites will be sent (by agreement) to that point in the two states which will be programmed to receive space information. Specialists note that the formation of the Russian-Belarusian orbital group (using the Belarusian space aircraft and Russian Kanopus-B) offers not only technological advantages but security regarding control. The efficiency of the group will increase 3 or 4 fold, enabling Belarus to gain data in the interests of the Russian side and Russian researchers making the same in the interests of their Belarusian colleagues.
The terrestrial segment of the Belarusian Earth remote sensing space system includes the Belarusian terrestrial control centre and the Belarusian terrestrial centre to collect, process and distribute space information. In its turn, the control complex unites a satellite flight control centre and a command-and-measurement complex.