Russia plans over dozen of space launches before May
Russia expects to launch 17 spacecraft from four space centers within the next three months, a source from the rocket and space industry told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.
"Two Russian space launches are due in February, six in March and five in April. They will be conducted from Baikonur, Plesetsk and Kourou space centers and the floating platform in the Pacific. Seventeen spacecraft will be put into orbit," the source said.
In addition to the Progress M-22M resupply ship mission scheduled for Wednesday, a Proton-M launch vehicle with a Briz-M upper stage and the Turksat 4A Turkish satellite will blast off from the Baikonur space center [in Kazakhstan] in February. The Proton takeoff is due on February 15," the source said.
A Glonass-M navigation satellite will be transported to orbit by a Soyuz-2-1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage from the Plesetsk space center in the Arkhangelsk region on March 11, he said. "A Proton-M powered with a Briz-M will be launched on March 16 with the Express AT1 and Express AT2 telecom satellites aboard, and a Strela launch vehicle will carry the Kondor-E remote observation satellite to orbit on March 19," the source said.
A Soyuz-FG launch vehicle will take off on March 26 to bring the Soyuz TMA-12M manned spaceship to space, and a Soyuz-ST-A launch vehicle with a Fregat-MT upper stage and the Sentinel-1A European satellite will be launched from the Kourou space center in French Guiana on March 29, he said. "The first month of spring will end with the launch of a Rokot vehicle with a Briz-KM upper stage and satellites of the Russian Defense Ministry," the source added.
The launch of a Proton-M with a Briz-M upper stage and the Express AM4R telecom satellite is due on April 6, the launch of a Soyuz-U vehicle with the Progress M-23M resupply ship on April 9, and the launch of a Zenit-3SL rocket with a DM-SL upper stage and the European telecom satellite Eutelsat 3B from the floating platform in the Pacific Ocean under the Sea Launch program on April 13.
"There will be the launch of a Soyuz-U vehicle with the EgyptSat-2 remote observation satellite built by Russia for Egypt on April 16. A Proton-M with a Briz-M upper stage will bring the Luch-5b retransmission satellite and the KazSat-3 Kazakh telecom satellite to a geostationary orbit on April 28," he said.
The world has done four space launches - three in the U.S. and one in India - since the beginning of 2014.