Russia successfully launches rocket with 36 satellites
Russia has successfully launched its Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket, delivering 36 satellites from the UK-based OneWeb company into space.
The rocket blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the country’s Far East at 3.26 p.m. on Friday, Xinhua news agency quoted the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos as saying in a statement.
The upper stage, which houses the satellites, separated from the third stage of the rocket normally, it said.
“Today’s launch will be marked as the first fully commercial one from the Vostochny cosmodrome,” Roscosmos added.
This was the first launch of OneWeb satellites from the Vostochny spaceport and the first purely commercial launch from this space centre, TASS News Agency reported.
The first six OneWeb satellites were launched by a Soyuz-ST carrier rocket from the Kourou space center in French Guiana on February 28, 2019 and put in orbit on the same day.
Two more launches were carried out this year from the Baikonur space center: 34 satellites were lifted into orbit on February 7, and 34 more satellites on March 21.
In all, the company plans to deploy about 600 satellites.