|Manufacturer||NPO Prikladnoi Mekhaniki|
|Country of origin||Russia|
|Operator||RKA (Until 1996)
Gonets SatCom (1996-Present)
|Design life||5 years|
|Launch mass||233 to 280 kilograms (514 to 617 lb)|
|Power||40 Watts from solar panels|
Data rate up to 64kb/s
|Orbit regimes||Low Earth|
Gonets (Russian Гонец, Messenger) is a Russian civilian low Earth orbit communication satellite system. It consists of a number of satellites, derived from Strela military communication satellites. The first two satellites, which were used to test and validate the system, were launched by a Tsyklon-3 carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on 13 July 1992, and were designated Gonets-D. The first operational satellites, designated Gonets-D1, were launched on 19 February 1996. After launch, the first three satellites were given military Kosmos designations, a practice which was not continued with the other satellites.
Ten operational satellites and two demonstration spacecraft have been placed in orbit. A further three were lost in a launch failure on 27 December 2000. A new series of modernised Gonets satellites, Gonets-D1M, will supplement and eventually replace the satellites which are currently in orbit. A single first D1M satellite was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket on 21 December 2005. A second D1M satellite was launched by a Rokot carrier rocket on 8 September 2010.
On 2013 the system consists of 5 satellites (3 Gonets-M and 2 Gonets-D1). On September 11 The Rokot carrier rocket, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, successfully put three Gonets-M communications satellites into the final orbit.
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