Roscosmos reports: Liftoff of the Soyuz 2.1b carrier rocket occurred at 11:20 UTC (07:20 EDT) on Monday, 28 September 2020, from Site No. 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome — located 800 km north of Moscow.
During the 16th launch of the Gonets-M satellites, the Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket was expected to carry three satellites with production numbers 27, 28, and 29 for the 12-bird Gonets-M personal communications constellation developed at ISS Reshetnev based in Zheleznogorsk, Russia.
The mission is the first flight of Gonets satellites on board a Soyuz 2.1b rocket, which is utilizing the optional Fregat-M upper stage to provide additional lift capacity into the operational orbit of the primary satellites.
Those primary satellites are three Gonets-M communication crafts, the second generation of the Gonets system. Earlier Gonets were derived from the Strela-3 satellites and launched between 1992 and 2001.
The program is operated by JSC Satellite System GONETS, a company in which the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, owns 51%. Gonets-M satellites share a common design with the military Rodnik communications satellites and are used for store-and-dump operations where data is uploaded to a satellite, stored in its memory, and later downlinked to another user.
Summary of secondary payloads during the 16 Gonets-M mission:
|1||Dekart||NIIYaF MGU, Russia|
|2||Iceye X-6 (POC6)||Finland||Remote sensing|
|3||Iceye X-7 (POC7)||Finland||Remote sensing|
|4||Kepler-2 6U XL (Tars), EXOpod||Kepler, Canada|
Internet of Things
|5||Kepler-2 6U XL (Tars), EXOpod||Kepler, Canada|
Internet of Things
|7||Lemur-2y (3U)||Spire Global, USA||Remote sensing|
|8||Lemur-2y (3U)||Spire Global, USA||Remote sensing|
|9||Lemur-2y (3U)||Spire Global, USA||Remote sensing|
|10||Lemur-2y (3U)||Spire Global, USA||Remote sensing|
|11||MeznSat (3U)||Khalifa University, UAE||Remote sensing|
|12||NetSat (3U)||Würzburg Center for Telematics, Germany||Remote sensing|
|13||NetSat (3U)||Würzburg Center for Telematics, Germany||Remote sensing|
|14||NetSat (3U)||Würzburg Center for Telematics, Germany||Remote sensing|
|15||NetSat (3U||Würzburg Center for Telematics, Germany||Remote sensing|
|16||Norbi (6U)||NGU, Russia|
|17||Spectrum AnaLysis SATellite, SalSat, nano-satelllite (8U)||Berlin Technical University, Germany||Communications (Analysis of global spectrum use in S-band and VHF, UHF amateur radio bands)|
|18||Yarilo-1 (1.5U)||Bauman School, Russia||Solar science|