Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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Russians: Christians or Heathens?

I'm sure there is an explanation for why Roskosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and through it some nice folk in Kazakhstan, was so 'heathen' this Christmas... but I can't think of one and can't find one after a little look around the 'net.

You see, Roskosmos launched a Proton-M rocket with three replacement Glonass satellites... on Christmas Day! (Yes, 25 December 2007!) [Observant folk will notice that the online article says Proton-K, and I said Proton-M. Read the second link to see why both are correct.]

Not only that, but it was the evening of Christmas Day, at 1932 UTC. So, the nice folk preparing the rocket (checking, fuelling, etc) at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and the tracking stations (undoubtedly including various sae-based stations), had a marvellous Christmas Day, I'm sure!

For the record... and so this posting will achieve some recognition on major search engines...

Launch: 2007 December 25, 1932 UTC
Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launcher: Proton-M
Payloads: GLONASS A, B, C
SSCs: 32393, 32394, 32395
International Designators(s): 2007-065A, 2007-065B, 2007-065C


"So, great-grandfather, what's the funniest present you ever got for Christmas?"

"Well, one year, I got to light the blue touchpaper on a big sky rocket."


Now, in case someone says, "But, when is the Russian Orthodox Christmas Day?" 7 January! (So, I guess 25 December wasn't Christmas Day after all. Let's not go there....)

Merry Christmas to all the readers in Russia and Kazakhstan.

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