Loutch data relay system enabled communications during spacecraft launch to ISS
Data relay satellites, designed and built by Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Company, provided information relay services during a recent launch of a manned spacecraft from the Baikonur cosmodrome.
Satellites which are part of the multifunctional space-based data relay system Loutch were used to relay telemetry data from the manned Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft to the Mission control center on the ground throughout the spacecraft’s flight trajectory. Loutch-5A, Loutch-5B and Loutch-5V satellites helped ground controllers continuously monitor technical and navigation parameters of the spacecraft during its flight and docking to the International Space Station.
The manned Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft carrying an international crew of 3 cosmonauts lifted off from the cosmodrome late at night on November 18. Two days later the spacecraft successfully rendezvoused and docked to the International Space Station.
Data relay satellites helped maintain communication with the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft when it was outside zones covered by Russia’s ground tracking and control facilities. Loutch-5A, Loutch-5B and Loutch-5V satellites are stationed at three geostationary orbital positions in such a way that at any given time one of them “sees” flying manned or cargo spacecraft, the International Space Station. Signals sent by these objects are received by Loutch satellites and further transmitted to the ground, which ensures continuous and reliable monitoring and control of flying space objects.