Kosmos 2555 (MKA-R) | Angara 1.2

Lift Off Time
(Subject to change)
April 29, 2022 – 19:55 UTC | 22:55 MSK
Mission Name
Kosmos 2555 (MKA-R), top secret mission, Russian military radar satellite
Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center
Customer
(Who’s paying for this?)
Russian Ministry of Defense
Rocket
Angara 1.2
Launch Location
LC-35/1, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation
Payload mass
Unknown, up to 3,000 kg to low Earth orbit (LEO)
Where is the satellite going?
TBD
Will they be attempting to recover the first stage?
No, Angara 1.2 is not capable of recovery
Where will the first stage land?
TBD
Will they be attempting to recover the fairings?
No, Angara 1.2 is not capable of recovery
Are these fairings new?
Yes
This will be the:
– 1st orbital launch of Angara 1.2
– 4th launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in 2022
– 45th orbital launch attempt of 2022
Where to watch
Once available, an official livestream will be listed here

What Does All This Mean?

Russia will launch the Kosmos 2555 (MKA-R), a military radar satellite, atop an Angara 1.2 rocket. The rocket will launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. This mission will mark the first orbital launch of the Angara 1.2 rocket and the fourth mission from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in 2022.

Kosmos 2555 (MKA-R) Mission

Due to the classified nature of the Kosmos 2555 (MKA-R) mission, no details are reported about this military radar satellite.

What Is The Angara Rocket Family?

The Angara rocket family was created in 1992 and is an entirely Russian launch vehicle. Previous Russian launch vehicles have used parts or equipment from other former Soviet Union countries. Angara is designed to replace the venerable Proton vehicle. 

The Angara rocket family: Angara-1, Angara-3, and Angara-5, Angara 1.2 will be used for the Kosmos 2555 (MKA-R) mission.
The Angara rocket family: Angara-1, Angara-3, and Angara-5. (Credit: ROSCOSMOS)

In particular, the Soyuz rocket has most often launched from Kazakhstan, which since the early 1990s has become a separate sovereign country. We are used to hearing about Russian launches from Baikonur, but we perhaps forget that Baikonur is not in Russia. The automatic docking module, Kurs, used for Soyuz and Progress was developed by Ukraine.

Right now, this family of rockets is launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The future launch site for Angara is the Vostochny Cosmodrome, located on the east coast of Russia. Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center is the lead developer and manufacturer of these rockets.

Angara 1.2

Angara 1.2 is a small-lift launch vehicle that is capable of placing 3,000 kg to LEO. The rocket has two stages, both of them use kerosene as fuel and liquid oxygen (LOx) as oxidizer.

The Angara 1.2 rocket
The Angara 1.2 rocket. (Credit: ROSCOSMOS/ Global Look Press)

Its first suborbital flight took place on July 9, 2014, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Moreover, the first stage’s major components were flight demonstrated on the Korean Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV) in 2009, 2010, and 2013.

First StageSecond Stage
Engine RD-191RD-0124
Total Thrust 1,922 kN (432,083 lbf),
sea level
294 kN (66,094 lbf),
vacuum
Specific Impulse (ISP)312 s, sea level
337 s, vacuum
359 s, vacuum

Stage I (URM-1)

The first stage consists of one URM-1 core, has a height of 25.1 m and a diameter of 2.9 m. URM stands for “Universal Rocket Module” and serves as a first stage for all members of the Angara family. It uses one RD-191 engine that has only one combustion chamber and exhaust nozzle, unlike several other engines operated by Russia. This engine has been modified under the name RD-151 for use on South Korea’s KSLV-1 rocket. The RD-191’s specific impulse (ISP) is 312 seconds at sea level.

A render of the Soviet RD-191 engine
A render of the Soviet RD-191 engine. (Credit: Caspar Stanley)

Stage II (Modified Block-I)

A modified Block-I with a diameter of 2.9 m is used on the Angara 1.2 rocket as its second stage. It has a single RD-0124A engine to propel it. This engine has four combustion chambers and exhaust nozzles, but only one power-pack.

Rocket-motor-RD-0124
RD-0124 motor at Salon-du-Bourget 2013. (Credit: Pline)

However, for its suborbital launch, the Angara 1.2pp rocket used the URM-2 with a bigger diameter of 3.6 m as its second stage. It was done to certify both the URM-1 and URM-2 at the same time.

Aggregate Module

The aggregate module serves as an upper stage inserting satellites to their final orbits. It is equipped with four 11D458 engines and 14 smaller 17D58E engines.

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