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Gonets-M-Salon-du-Bourget-2013-DSC 0043.jpg
Manufacturer NPO Prikladnoi Mekhaniki
Country of origin Russia
Operator RKA (Until 1996)
Gonets SatCom (1996-Present)
Applications Communication
Design life 5 years
Launch mass 233 to 280 kilograms (514 to 617 lb)
Power 40 Watts from solar panels
Batteries Nickel/Hydrogen
Equipment UHF transponders[1]
(NATO B/D-band)
Data rate up to 64kb/s
Regime Low Earth
Status Active
Related spacecraft
Derived from Strela

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,[2] and were designated Gonets-D.[3] The first operational satellites, designated Gonets-D1, were launched on 19 February 1996.[3] After launch, the first three satellites were given military Kosmos designations, a practice which was not continued with the other satellites.[2]

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.[4] A second D1M satellite was launched by a Rokot carrier rocket on 8 September 2010.[4]

Gonets was originally a Russian Federal Space Agency programme, however in 1996 it was privatised, and it is now organised by Gonets SatCom.[5]

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.[6]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "GONETS". Small Satellites Home Page. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  2. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "Strela". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  3. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Gonets". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  4. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Gonets-M". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Leosat system "Gonets"". Gonets SatCom. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  6. ^ Russia Orbits 3 Telecoms Satellites – Defense Ministry