Encyclopedia Astronautica
Svobodniy



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Svobodniy
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Svobodniy
Location of Svobodniy
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Start Launcer
Start launch vehicle canister, Svobodniy
Headquarters of an RVSN Division, 1961-1994, equipped with 90 light ICBM (UR-100) silos. The number of operational silos declined to 60 by 1993. The break-up of the Soviet Union left the main Russian cosmodrome on foreign territory (Baikonur, in Kazakhstan). The Northern Cosmodrome at Plesetsk did not have facilities for large launch vehicles and was not suited for support of launches into lower-inclination orbits. Therefore Svobodniy Cosmodrome, located 7,777 km east of Moscow, was established as the Second State Space Trials Launch Centre (GIK-2) on 2 February 1996.

A decommissioned UR-100N (SS-19) ICBM base formed the starting point. A crash program built a living area for 6,000 staff, a paved road network, communications, electrical, and water systems. The airport Ukrainka, 70 km away, was upgraded to Category 1 so that it could accommodate the largest transport aircraft. The objective was to have the infrastructure within 2 to 3 years to start launches of the Rokot and Start light launch vehicles.

It was planned to also accommodate the new all-Russian modular Angara launch vehicles in the medium and heavy categories. This massive expansion, to be financed jointly by the Ministry of Defense and Russian Space Agency, would cost 4 trillion 1994 rubles. It would add new launch pads, a propellant farm, training centre, communications centre, tracking station, airport, and hospital south-east of the existing Rokot facility. It was to have been completed within eight years, eventually housing 30,000 technical staff and a total population of 100,000.

Such funding was not available. By 2000 conversion of unfinished Zenit pads at Plesetsk for use with Angara was underway. It would seem that Svobodniy would be limited to Rokot, Strela and Start-1 launches, while Plesetsk would be developed as the main Russian cosmodrome. Geosynchronous launches from Plesetsk, it was found, could be made economically by using the moon's gravity to change the orbital plane of the satellite. Svobodniy would still be needed to reach the 51.6 degree orbit of the International Space Station, however.

By 2008 plans for further development Svobodniy were scrapped in favor of a new eastern cosmodrome. Svobodniy had been used for five launches between 1997 and 2006.

Minimum Inclination: 51.0 degrees. Maximum Inclination: 110.0 degrees.

AKA: GIK-2.
Longitude: 128.2757 deg.
Latitude: 51.8344 deg.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Ofeq 3 Israeli military surveillance satellite. 4 launches, 1995.04.05 (Ofeq-3) to 2006.04.25 (EROS-B). Ofeq 3 was Israel's second-generation imaging surveillance satellite. More...
  • Zeya Russian earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1997.03.04. The Zeya satellite was used for navigation and geodesy tests from a sun-synchronous orbit. More...
  • Early Bird American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1997.12.24 (Early Bird) and 2000.11.20 (QuickBird 1). Civilian earth resources / intelligence photo-imaging program. More...
  • Odin Swedish infrared astronomy satellite. One launch, 2001.02.20. Odin was a Swedish dual disciplinary (astrophysics and atmospheric science) spacecraft. The 250 kg, 340 W spacecraft had a pointing accuracy of 15 arcsec and a data storage capacity of 100 MB. More...

See also
  • Topol Containerised all-solid propellant Nadiradze ICBM designed for launch from mobile and silo launchers. Replaced UR-100/UR-100NU in silos. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Start-1 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Launch vehicle based on decommissioned ICBM's. Launched from mobile transporter. Liftoff mass 47 tonnes. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • RVSN Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Raketniye Voiska Stratigcheskovo Naznacheniya (Russian Strategic Rocket Forces), Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Melnik, T G, Voenno-Kosmicheskiy Siliy, Nauka, Moscow, 1997..

Associated Launch Sites

Svobodniy Chronology


1997 March 4 - . 02:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.2.
  • Zeya - . Payload: Zeya No. 1. Nation: Russia. Agency: MO. Manufacturer: Reshetnev. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Zeya. Decay Date: 1999-10-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24744 . COSPAR: 1997-010A. Apogee: 472 km (293 mi). Perigee: 460 km (280 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 93.60 min.

1997 December 24 - . 13:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.
  • Early Bird - . Payload: EarlyBird. Nation: USA. Agency: DigitalGlobe. Manufacturer: McLean. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Early Bird. Decay Date: 2000-07-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 25123 . COSPAR: 1997-085A. Apogee: 488 km (303 mi). Perigee: 479 km (297 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.10 min.

2000 December 5 - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.
  • EROS A1 - . Mass: 240 kg (520 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ImageSat. Manufacturer: IAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. USAF Sat Cat: 26631 . COSPAR: 2000-079A. Apogee: 542 km (336 mi). Perigee: 533 km (331 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 95.40 min. Launch delayed from November 28. The Israeli commercial imaging satellite EROS A1 was owned by ImageSat (an Israeli-led company registered in the Netherlands Antilles) and built by IAI using the Ofeq-3 design. EROS A1 was placed in a sun-synchronous orbit together with the DS 5th stage. The 250 kg (dry mass) triaxially stabilized spacecraft carried a black and white high resolution (1.8 m) CCD camera, to obtain images (with terrain width of 12.6 km) of locations chosen by Israeli military or world-wide commercial clients, and downlink them at one of the 14 ground stations.

2001 February 20 - . 08:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1.
  • Odin - . Mass: 250 kg (550 lb). Nation: Sweden. Agency: ZAO. Manufacturer: SSC. Class: Astronomy. Type: Infrared astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: Odin. USAF Sat Cat: 26702 . COSPAR: 2001-007A. Apogee: 580 km (360 mi). Perigee: 573 km (356 mi). Inclination: 97.7000 deg. Period: 96.20 min. Sweden's Odin scientific satellite carried a submillimeter wave astronomy instrument and a radiometer for atmospheric studies. The 1.1-meter reflector fed 500 GHz and 119 GHz radiometers and was used to study galactic molecular clouds, complementing NASA's SWAS satellite. The Odin satellite was designed and built by the Swedish Space Corporation (Svenska Rymdbolaget or Rymdaktiebolaget). SSC does most of its satellite design and construction in-house, although Saab made the antenna and carried out satellite final assembly. SSC was a goverment-owned company and a contractor for the Rymdstyrelsen (Swedish National Space Board).

2006 April 25 - . 16:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Svobodniy. Launch Complex: Svobodniy LC5. LV Family: Topol. Launch Vehicle: Start-1. LV Configuration: Start-1 No. 441.
  • EROS-B - . Mass: 350 kg (770 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ImageSat. Manufacturer: IAI. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. USAF Sat Cat: 29079 . COSPAR: 2006-014A. Apogee: 514 km (319 mi). Perigee: 505 km (313 mi). Inclination: 97.3000 deg. Period: 94.80 min. Summary: Combined civilian/military imaging satellite operated by an Israeli company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Its capability was demonstrated when, within days of launch, sharp photographs of people and motor vehicles on a Syrian dam were released..

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