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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, October 18, 2018


Russia launches 11 satellites from its Vostochny cosmodrome

Wth its Soyuz rocket

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MOSCOW, Russia - On Thursday, Russia made its first orbital launch of 2018, with its Soyuz rocket, carrying the country’s two Earth-monitoring satellites.

While Russia’s Earth-monitoring satellites were the primary payload of the Soyuz rocket, it also carried nine U.S. and German piggyback satellites.

Russian officials confirmed in a statement that it had successfully launched 11 satellites from its Vostochny cosmodrome.

The space agency said in a statement that this was the third rocket liftoff from the new spaceport.

In November last year, a similar liftoff from the cosmodrome in eastern Russia ended in embarrassment, with officials losing contact with a string of satellites.

At the time, Russian officials lost contact with a weather satellite hours after its launch.

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

Officials at the time blamed the accident on a programming error.

Earlier in the day, the Roscosmos space agency said that the Soyuz rocket lifted off as scheduled and that during its mission, the Fregat upper-stage rocket performed a complex sequence, forming several orbits for the delivery of the satellites.

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

It added in its statement that both the Soyuz rocket and the upper stage "performed without a glitch.”

The deputy prime minister in charge of space, Dmitry Rogozin said “Thank you everyone,” and added that contact with Russia's Kanopus-V earth monitoring satellites had been established.

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

In December last year, Russia lost contact with Angola's first national telecoms satellite launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Communication was however restored several days later.


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