The Russian Space Forces successfully launched a Kobalt M photo reconnaissance satellite on a Soyuz 2-1A launch vehicle from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia at 1349 GMT on 6 May 2014. The satellite will be given the designation of Cosmos 2492 when it has reached its intended orbit. This version of the Soyuz 2-1A did not use the Fregat upper stage as is mainly usual due to the low altitude of the intended orbit not requiring the upper stage.
The Kobalt M photo reconnaissance satellite is a now rare example of a film return reconnaissance satellite. The satellite carries two film return capsules which are separated from the satellite at approximately one third and two thirds of the satellites mission time, and returned to Earth. At the end of the mission the satellite will then detach the central capsule carrying the film camera and last third of exposed film which is then returned to Earth while what remains of the satellite is allowed to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and burn up. The satellite can be expected to have a mission length between three and six months.