Russia has successfully launched its Blagovest No.13L/ Kosmos 2533 military communications satellite abroad a Proton-M/Briz-M rocket from Pad 24 at Site 81 of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 05:20 local time (00:20 UTC) on Dec. 21.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the overall control of the mission was conducted by ground assets of the Titov Chief Test Space Center of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS).
The Briz-M upper stage and the satellite were successfully deployed into a parking orbit about 10 minutes after liftoff and the satellite was placed in its final geostationary orbit after several hours. After the successful release of the satellite, the Russian Ministry of Defense gave it an official designation Kosmos-2533.
The Blagovest-13L mission was the 418th launch of the Proton rocket.
The Russian Ministry of Defence intends to deploy a constellation of at least four Blagovest into geostationary orbit. The first Blagovest satellite, No.11L – now named Kosmos 2520, was launched in August 2017 and the second one, Blagovest No.12L, or Kosmos 2526, followed in April. The next Blagovest satellite will launch atop a Proton in the second quarter of next year.
The satellites are developed at ISS Reshetnev and are based on the Ekspress-2000 platform. The communications payload of the satellites includes Q-band and Ka-band antennas provided by Thales Alenia Space. They have a design lifespan of about 15 years.