On Monday, September 28th at 11:20 UTC, a Roscosmos Soyuz-2.1b was launched by Russian Aerospace Forces from Site Number 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Onboard were three Gonets M communication satellites and eighteen small satellites in orbit.
Gonets M-27, M-28, and M-29 join the Gonets-D1M constellation, which supports international health organizations to meet their global communications needs for the transfer of medical data and records to remote sites. The Gonets-M satellites share a common design with the military Rodnik communications satellites and are used for store-and-dump operations where data is uploaded to a satellite, stored in its memory, and later downlinked to another user. The name Gonets means “messenger”. They have a planned lifetime of five to seven years and weigh about 280 kilograms or roughly the same as a brown bear.
The smallsats that hitched a ride on the launch belong to a variety of international customers and included three remote sensing smallsats that belong to a Finnish customer and some technology demonstrators for customers in Canada and Germany.