Multifunctional space data relay system Loutch
At present the Siberian satellite manufacturer “Academician M.F. Reshetnev “Information Satellite Systems” is building the multifunctional data relay system Loutch based on the Loutch-5A and Loutch-5B geostationary data relay spacecraft.
The country’s original space data relay system was based on the Loutch and Loutch-2 spacecraft developed by the Reshetnev Company in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The satellites continued their in-orbit operation as planned till 1998.
The new project of the multifunctional data relay system Loutch with the Loutch-5A and Loutch-5B data relay spacecraft was approved by ROSCOSMOS’s Scientific and Technical Council at the PDR stage. As a result, the Loutch program became part of the 2006-2015 Federal Space Program.
The Loutch-5A and Loutch-5B spacecraft will relay data from low-flying spacecraft operating at an altitude of up to 2000 km above the Earth as well as launch vehicles, upper stage rockets and manned space complexes including the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The new spacecraft will receive their data during flight phases invisible from the Russian territory and relay it in real time to Russia’s receiving points. Besides, the Loutch-5A and Loutch-5B satellites will provide a capability for communicating control commands to space-based objects, located in orbit areas invisible from the Russian territory.
Loutch-5A was successfully inserted into orbit in tandem with the AMOS-5 spacecraft on December 11, 2011. They were launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome aboard a Proton-M/Breeze-M vehicle.
Loutch-5B was successfully launched together with the Yamal-300K spacecraft on November 3, 2012.
The data-relay satellite Loutch-5V is due to launch in late 2013 – early 2014.
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