Next Launch:


Date: Friday, May 26, 2023
Time: 9:14 PM UTC (UTC +0)

This goes

to space

Kondor Satellite

Kondor, GRAU index 14F133, is a series of Earth imaging or military reconnaissance satellites developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya for the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces which in 2015 became the Russian Space Forces and export customers. Satellites for the Russian military are designated "Kondor", whilst those for export are designated Kondor-E.

Kondor satellites are equipped to carry either synthetic aperture radar or electro-optical imaging payloads, with the first satellite, and are launched using the Strela carrier rocket, developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya from retired UR-100NUTTKh missiles.

A mass simulator named Gruzomaket (aka Kondor-E-GVM, COSPAR 2003-055A) was launched on 5 December 2003, and almost ten years later on 27 June 2013, the first spacecraft was launched. Kondor No.202 (aka Kosmos 2487, Kondor 1, COSPAR 2013-032A) was operated by the Russian military, and carried a radar imaging payload. It was the first radar imaging satellite to be operated by the Russian military after the Soviet RORSAT and Almaz-T series. The first Kondor-E (Kondor-E 1, COSPAR 2014-084A) launched 19 December 2014 for South Africa.

Civilian versions of the satellite have been designed under the name Kondor-FKA or Kondor-FKA-M. As of March 2023 the launches of the first two of them, Kondor-FKA №1 and №2, are planned for 2023 and 2024 respectively.

On this


Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat

The Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat-M rocket as it is known to Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, is also called the Soyuz ST-A when used by Arianespace for European launches.

It is built by the Progress Rocket Space Centre (TsSKB-Progress) under the jurisdiction of Roscosmos.

The Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat-M provides medium-lift capability.

It can be launched from all three Roscosmos launch sites: the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in western Russia, and the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia.

For Arianespace, it is primarily launched from Guiana Space Centre in South America, making it the only -- at present -- rocket to launch from more than one continent.

Image credit: CC "Yuzhny" / TSENKI / Roscosmos

From this

launch site

Site 1S - Vostochny Cosmodrome, Tsiolkovsky, Amur Oblast, Russian Federation
May 26, 2023

Vostochny Cosmodrome

When the Soviet Union collapsed on December 25th, 1991, Russia inherited the Union's space program... and instantly found themselves with a problem.  Their primary launch site was not in their country but in what was now the newly independent Kazakhstan.

The two countries entered into a mutually beneficial agreement for Russia to lease the Baikonur Cosmodrome, with a current annual payment of $115 million (USD).

To reduce their reliance on a foreign country’s launch facilities, Russia committed to building a new cosmodrome, this time in the Russian Far East.

Vostochny, which means “eastern” in Russian, is a primarily commercial launch center, though military missions can take place from the site.

Proposals call for the cosmodrome to eventually host 44% of all Russian launches, including human missions.

Numerous delays with construction and corruption have delayed the spaceport’s high flight level use. Of the originally planned seven (two for crew) launch pads, only one has been built for Soyuz 2, a second is under construction for the Angara rocket, and no crew launch pads have been started.

The one completed pad is Site 1S, “S” standing for Soyuz, which conducted its first launch in April 2016.

Image: A Soyuz rocket on Site 1S. Credit: Kremlin

Space is for everyone. Here’s a link to share the launch with your friends.