The second trial launch of the Soyuz 2 (Rus) rocket from the Plesetsk spaceport is scheduled for the third quarter of 2006, a spaceport source told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
“A modernized Soyuz rocket was delivered by rail from the Samara-based Progress plant late last week. The spaceport’s 43rd launch pad is being modernized, and new facilities are being built for testing the new rocket. It is planned to put the Soyuz 2 to orbit from the northern spaceport in the third quarter,” he said.
A payload (presumably, a satellite mockup) will be put to a designated orbit with the use of a Frigate upper stage designed at the Lavochkin Center.
The first trial launch was successfully done last November. The new rocket will be launched for the Defense Ministry needs and commercial projects. It is planned to launch Soyuz 2 from Plesetsk, and its modification, Soyuz ST, from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, Itar-Tass reports.
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers