Russia just launched a secret military satellite into orbit from its new Arctic base of operations… the “high ground” for planet Earth

Saturday, July 15, 2017
By Paul Martin

by: Robert Jonathan
Saturday, July 15, 2017

On June 23, Russia launched a Soyuz-2-1v rocket from the Plesetsk space center (Plesetsk Cosmodrome) in the country’s northwest Arctic region.

The light-weight Soyuz spacecraft reportedly carried a Russian Defense Ministry orbiting satellite called Kosmos 2519, but typically closed-mouth Kremlin officials have yet to publicly reveal the purpose of this mission or any specific details about it. Nor is it apparently clear where the satellite is heading for its final orbit, although U.S. military trackers spotted the rocket’s upper stage at 410 miles above Earth after the launch.

While information is still classified and may permanently be so, there is some conjecture that this satellite is the first in a series of 14F150 Napryazhenie geodetic satellites “designed to make accurate measurements of Earth’s shape and gravitational field,” the Daily Mail noted.

The Napryazhenie program, which may be part of Russia’s Nivelir-ZU project, could have a purpose that goes beyond benign scientific data collection or communications purposes, the RussianSpaceWeb portal suggested.

Geodetic satellites are designed to serve as precise reference points needed for accurate measurements of the Earth’s shape and the properties of its gravitational field. In military applications, the geodetic information can help in the development of highly accurate geodetic coordinate systems which could be used for guidance of long-range ballistic missiles.

Nivelir means “level” in Russian.

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