Saturday, March 24, 2018
  • share this

Russia launches 11 space satellites ‘without glitch’

/ 05:33 PM February 01, 2018

The second liftoff from Russia’s new Vostochny cosmodrome ended in failure last November when officials lost contact with a weather satellite hours after its launch. Image: Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP

Russia on Thursday successfully launched 11 satellites from its Vostochny cosmodrome, in the third rocket liftoff from the new spaceport, the space agency said.

The country’s first orbital launch of 2018 came after a similar liftoff from the cosmodrome in eastern Russia ended in embarrassment, with officials losing contact with a string of satellites last November.

Lifting off as scheduled earlier Thursday, the Soyuz rocket carried two Russian Earth monitoring satellites as its primary payload and nine US and German piggyback satellites.


During its mission the Fregat upper-stage rocket performed a complex sequence, forming several orbits for the delivery of the satellites, the Roscosmos space agency said.

“In accordance with the flight program, the Fregat upper-stage placed into orbit space vehicles of main and secondary payloads,” the space agency said in a statement.

Both the Soyuz rocket and the upper stage “performed without a glitch,” the statement added.

Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy prime minister in charge of space, said contact with Russia’s Kanopus-V earth monitoring satellites had been established.

“Thank you everyone,” the official tweeted.

The second liftoff from the Vostochny cosmodrome ended in failure last November when Russian officials lost contact with a weather satellite hours after its launch.

Apart from the Meteor weather satellite contact had been lost with 18 payloads from institutions and companies in Canada, the United States, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Norway.

The glitch was a fresh embarrassment for the country’s once-proud space industry which has suffered a series of setbacks over recent years


Officials blamed the accident on a programming error.

Thursday’s launch had been initially planned for last December, but was postponed due to the November accident.

In late December, Russia lost contact with Angola’s first national telecoms satellite launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan but several days later officials said they had restored communication.

The inaugural launch from Vostochny spaceport took place in April 2016, with President Vladimir Putin overseeing the takeoff.

It represented a major development for the country’s space sector, with the new cosmodrome touted to mark a rebirth of the industry. AB


SpaceX performs first ‘static fire’ of Falcon Heavy rocket

New insights into mysterious, cosmic ‘fast radio bursts’

SpaceX launches secretive Zuma mission

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: 11 satellites, no glitches, russian space program, Vostochny cosmodrome
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2018 | All Rights Reserved