Putin to launch mysterious satellite of ‘unknown purposes’ into space next week

Putin is just days away from launching a mysterious satellite into space, and its purpose is “unknown”.

The news of Russia's mysterious voyage comes less than a week after China shot an “unknown payload” into space, which was later claimed to be an “experiment”.

According to rocket tracking website Next Spaceflight, a Soyuz 2.1v rocket is set to blast off on Thursday, March 23 at 7am.

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Flying under the code EO MKA #4, its payload is described as “uncertain”.

They state: “Russian reconnaissance satellite of unknown purposes, possibly in the same series as Kosmos 2551, 2555 and 2560.”

The three Russian satellites mentioned are all military-based, with the first two specialising in reconnaissance.

Russia's last launch was in November 2022, with its purpose and payload also unknown.

The Soyuz 2.1v was first used in December 2013, and has had nine missions since then.

Of those nine, one was classed as a partial failure.

The launch site being used for next week's flight is Site 43/4, Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.

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The site was built in 1957 during the Soviet Union era.

A massive £150 million upgrade was spent on it in 2011, to include a dormitory and hospital on site.

President Vladimir Putin stores the country's A-235 anti-ballistic missile system at the site, which is only used to deflect a potential nuclear attack away from Moscow and other key regions in the country.

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Russia has not yet made any comment on next week's launch, however, and has remained largely silent on all space developments relating to the country in recent weeks.

Earlier this week it emerged that Kazakhstan had taken control of the Baikonur Spaceport, after the country's bailiff agency attempted to recover a debt of around two billion rubles owed by Russia.

The country has officially taken over Russia's Center for the Operation of Terrestrial Space Infrastructure as a result.

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