Spaceflight Now Home

Hi-Def Video

Experience the space program like never before in stunning HD video!

Shuttle mission STS-125

Atlantis readied for final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.


Shuttle mission STS-127

Endeavour's dual preps for standby rescue craft and June construction flight to space station.


Shuttle mission STS-119

Take a loop around the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Discovery in stunning high definition.


From the vault

Historical footage from the early days of the space program.


Become a subscriber
More video

Russian military launches new surveillance satellite

Posted: April 29, 2009

Russia launched a Soyuz rocket Wednesday carrying a covert military payload believed to be a spy satellite with a high-resolution optical camera.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off at 1658 GMT from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, according to Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

The launcher reached orbit and deployed the spacecraft about eight minutes later, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Russian military officials said the craft would be named Kosmos 2450, fitting with the defense ministry's nomenclature for military satellites.

Tracking data indicate Kosmos 2450 is in an orbit with a high point of about 208 miles and a low point of about 105 miles. The orbital inclination was reported as 67.1 degrees.

Analysts believe Kosmos 2450 is a Kobalt-class satellite with retrievable film canisters that can return imagery to Earth through a mission lasting at least several months.

Earlier Kobalt spy satellites were operated in similar orbits.

Wednesday's launch was the third Soyuz launch of the year and the 22nd space launch to successfully reach orbit in 2009.