Tsyklon booster launches with cargo of six satellites
BY SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: December 28, 2001

A Tsyklon 3 rocket blasted off from Russia today carrying six communications satellites on what is believed to be the final space launch of 2001, ending a year that marked the lowest number of launches in nearly 40 years.

The booster was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at 0324 GMT (11:24 p.m. EST Thursday) carrying three Kosmos military spacecraft and three civilian Gonets satellites. The Russian ITAR-TASS news agency called the launch "successful."

The Kosmos trio -- designated Kosmos 2384, 2385 and 2386 -- will be used to provide military communications for the Russian Ministry of Defence. The Gonets are designed to relay messaging communications to remote regions. All six satellites are based upon the same "Strela" spacecraft design.

This launch is virtually identical to one performed a year ago by a Tsyklon 3 carrying six satellites of the same variety. However, the rocket malfunctioned and the spacecraft failed to reach orbit during that December 27, 2000 mission.

For planet Earth, today's launch should be the last one of the year. No further rockets are publicly scheduled for liftoff over the next few days.

The year 2001 has turned out to be the slowest for space launches in nearly 40 years with only 58 flights to reach orbit, along with one complete failure -- the Orbital Sciences Taurus rocket that was supposed to loft two satellites.

Historians say you must look back to 1963 to find a year that produce that few of launches to reach orbit when 55 missions placed payloads into space. There were actually 70 launches that year, but 15 never made it to orbit.

In 2000 there were 82 launches to orbit plus three failures.

By contrast the most productive year was 1984 when 129 launches delivered payloads into orbit.

The first launch of 2002 is expected to be a U.S. Air Force Titan 4B rocket carrying a Milstar military communications satellite on January 15 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Mission Report
Space Shuttle Flights 1-5: The NASA Mission Reports covers the shuttle through its test flight stage and on to the first operational flight. Includes CD-ROM.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Soviet Space
For the first time ever available in the West. Rocket & Space Corporation Energia: a complete pictorial history of the Soviet/Russian Space Program from 1946 to the present day all in full color. Available from our store.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Viking patch
This embroidered mission patch celebrates NASA's Viking Project which reached the Red Planet in 1976.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Apollo 7 DVD
For 11 days the crew of Apollo 7 fought colds while they put the Apollo spacecraft through a workout, establishing confidence in the machine what would lead directly to the bold decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon just 2 months later.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Gemini 12
Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program's efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Gemini 12
Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program's efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.
 Choose your store:
U.S. - U.K. - E.U. - Worldwide

Final Shuttle Mission Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

STS-134 Patch

Free shipping to U.S. addresses!

The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Ares 1-X Patch
The official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

Project Orion
The Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.
 U.S. STORE


Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
 U.S. STORE
 WORLDWIDE STORE

INDEX | PLUS | NEWS ARCHIVE | LAUNCH SCHEDULE
ASTRONOMY NOW | STORE

ADVERTISE

© 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.