Scheduled for 12 March 2016 launch of Russian was halted yesterday and postponed for today.
Launch was planned for yesterday on 18:56 GMT. Resurs-P3, remote sensing satellite, should reach space on atop of Soyuz-2.1b from launch site 31, pad 6 at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Unfortunately during countdown engines were automatically shut down and countdown was halted. Official statement for Tass news agency covered only new launch date but no explanation what caused that automatic engine shutdown procedure.
Today launch was performed according to plan. After countdown rocket lifted off, according to plan, at 18:56 GMT. Soyuz-2.1b supported by four boosters lifted slowly over Baikonur Cosmodrome. All parameters were correct and after two minutes of flight boosters were jettisoned (according to official flight plan at T+116’3″). Next key moment of flight was separating of the second stage, jettisoning tail section and payload fairings (planned for T+288′-T+289′) in the fourth minute of mission. After over five minutes of flight (planned for T+557’8″) engines were shut down and Resurs-P3 should be deployed after another 3.3 seconds.
Resurs-P3 satellite will perform multispectral observation from 470 km – 483 km orbit (with inclination at 97.276°) for next five years of planned operational life along with Resurs-P1 (lunched in 2013) and Resurs-P2 (launched in 2014). It has possibility to take images with maximal resolution up to 1 m in monochromatic mode (Geoton-L1 telescope) with width of imaging surface up to 38 km. Satellite will downlink images thanks to Sangur-1U computer unit. It stores, converts and send data to onboard transponder which transmits data on X band to ground receiving stations with speed at 300 Mbit/s. Satellite is equipped with 20 square meters solar arrays and is long for 7 m. Its diameter is around 2.7 m with total mass up to 5920 kg.