Kosmos 2481
Mission typeCommunications
COSPAR ID2012-041A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.38733
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeStrela-3
ManufacturerNPO PM[1]
Launch mass225 kilograms (496 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date28 July 2012, 01:35 (2012-07-28UTC01:35Z) UTC
Launch sitePlesetsk 133/3
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude1,483 kilometres (921 mi)[2]
Apogee altitude1,511 kilometres (939 mi)[2]
Inclination82.48 degrees
Period115.91 minutes

Kosmos 2481 (Russian: Космос 2481 meaning Cosmos 2481) is a Russian Strela-3 military communications satellite which was launched in 2012 by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces. It was launched with 2 Gonets-M civilian communication satellites and a research satellite called Yubileiny-2, also known as MiR.


Kosmos 2481 was launched from Site 133/3 at Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. It was launched by a Rockot carrier rocket with a Briz-KM upper stage at 01:35 UTC on 28 July 2012.[2][3] The launch successfully placed the satellite into low Earth orbit. It subsequently received its Kosmos designation, and the international designator 2012-041A. The United States Space Command assigned it the Satellite Catalog Number 38733.[2][3]

The Russian military announced that the rocket was under control of the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Centre at 01:38 UTC and the satellites were released from the rocket at 03:19 UTC.[2][4]

It was the first launch of a Rockot since February 2011 when a satellite was placed in the wrong orbit due to a problem with the upper stage.[5][6]

Ground track of Kosmos 2481
Ground track of Kosmos 2481


Kosmos 2481 is a Strela-3 satellite. They are described as store-dump communications satellites which receive information from the ground when they pass overhead, and store that information until they pass over the ground station they deliver the information to.[7]: 15  The satellites are in low Earth orbit going round the Earth every 116 minutes.[2][8] A full deployment of Strela-3 craft should consist of twelve satellites.[7]: 15  The satellite has the GRAU index 17F13, showing it is a Strela-3, not a Strela-3M (also called Rodnik) as they have a GRAU index of 17F132.[1][3][9]

Strela-3 has a civilian variant called Gonets which is used by the Russian government for communication in remote areas. It can take between two minutes and six hours to deliver messages.[4]

The previous satellites of this class, Kosmos 2467 and Kosmos 2468, were launched together on 8 September 2010.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter. "Strela-3 (14F13)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "2012-041". Zarya. n.d. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  3. ^ a b c Pavel, Podvig (2012-07-28). "Successful launch of Strela-3 and Gonets-M communication satellites". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  4. ^ a b Ракета "Рокот" с четырьмя спутниками успешно стартовала с Плесецка [Rocket 'Rockot' was successfully launched from Plesetsk with four satellites] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  5. ^ "Rockot launches four satellites". Space Today. 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  6. ^ "Russia Launches Cluster of Four Satellites". RIA Novosti. 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  7. ^ a b Podvig, Pavel; Zuang, Hui (2008). Russian and Chinese Responses to US Military Plans in Space (PDF). Cambridge, Massachusetts: American Academy of Arts and Sciences. ISBN 0-87724-068-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  8. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Strela-3M (Rodnik, 14F132)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  9. ^ a b Pavel, Podvig (2010-09-08). "Gonets-M, Strela-3, and Strela-3M satellites are in orbit". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 2012-08-09.