Russia puts 38 foreign satellites into orbit
Sylvie Claire / Mars 22, 2021
Russia put 38 foreign satellites into orbit on Monday after launching a Soyuz rocket from its Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, whose launch had been postponed twice due to technical problems.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket successfully lifted off at 06:07 GMT into a gray and cloudy sky, according to images broadcast live by the Russian space agency Roskosmos
In the following hours, it put into orbit 38 satellites from 18 countries, including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and Brazil.
The satellites, which will be used mainly for observation and research, but also for telecommunications, were put in turn on three different orbits, said Roskosmos in a statement.
One hour and three minutes after the launch, the main payload was separated -- the South Korean CAS500-1 Earth remote sensing satellite. At present, the upper stage has successfully completed all stages of the program to place the remaining 37 spacecraft into the target orbits, the Russian space agency said
Among these devices is also the satellite Challenge-1, the first satellite manufactured 100% in Tunisia, created by the telecommunications group Telnet.
Originally scheduled for Saturday, the launch was postponed to the next day, then to Monday morning.
According to the head of the Russian space agency, Dmitri Rogozine, the first postponement was decided because of a power surge detected before the launch and in order not to take risks.
The second postponement took place after the discovery of a technical malfunction, according to Roskosmos
These postponements illustrate the difficulties encountered by the Russian space industry since the fall of the USSR in 1991
These last years have been marked by several corruption scandals and a series of failed launches, one of which concerned a manned flight, fortunately without consequence for the two spacemen who were able to eject.