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Molniya is a word in the Russian language which translates to "Lightning" in English.

Communications Satellites

In space technology, the original Molniya is an interesting system of communications satellites which orbits the Earth in unusual highly elliptical orbits. The system was invented by and deployed by the USSR (Soviet Union). The system is currently maintained by the Russian Federation.

Launch Vehicle

A special launch vehicle was developed to launch the Molniya satellites, the launch vehicle also has the name Molniya.

The Molniya rocket is a variant of the Russian Soyuz launch verhicle, a derivative of the workhorse R-7 booster. Molniya is primarily used for launching high-inclination communications satellites.


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