Russian Soyuz spacecraft launches 38 satellites for 18 countries

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Mar 22, 2021, 04:35 PM(IST)

The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 satellites from 18 countries blasts off from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 22, 2021 Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Russia plans to send up a second satellite in 2023 and, combined, the two will offer round-the-clock, all-weather monitoring of the Arctic Ocean and the surface of the Earth, Roscosmos said

A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday carrying 38 foreign satellites after takeoff was twice postponed due to technical issues, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

Video published by Roscosmos showed the Soyuz blaster launching against grey and cloudy skies at 0607 GMT.

"The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft from 18 countries took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome," Roscosmos said on its Twitter account. 

×

The rocket will place in orbit 38 satellites from more than a dozen countries, including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and Brazil.

Among them is Challenge-1, the first satellite made completely in Tunisia, which was created by the Telnet telecommunications group.

The launch was twice postponed from Saturday after a surge in voltage was detected.

Russia plans to send up a second satellite in 2023 and, combined, the two will offer round-the-clock, all-weather monitoring of the Arctic Ocean and the surface of the Earth, Roscosmos said.

It had launched its space satellite Arktika-M on February 28 on a mission to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic amid a push by the Kremlin to expand the country's activities in the region.

The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average over the last three decades and Moscow is seeking to develop the energy-rich region, investing in the Northern Sea Route for shipping across its long northern flank as ice melts.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian space sector has lagged behind international competitors, plagued by corruption scandals and technological stagnation.

In 2018, a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut failed mid-flight, forcing the crew to carry out an emergency landing. Both survived without injuries. 

Read in App