Russia successfully launches 38 satellites for 18 countries

Russia has successfully put 38 satellites for 18 countries into orbit from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Highlights

The Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, published a video showing its Soyuz rocket was launched against the grey and cloudy skies. The rocket successfully placed satellites (into orbit) from countries including Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Italy, Germany and Brazil. The launcher also launched “Challenge-1 satellite”, which is the first satellite completely made in Tunisia, created by Telnet Telecommunications group.

Soyuz-2.1a

It is the carrier rocket comprising of the Fregat upper stage. The 2.1a version of the Soyuz satellite comprise of conversion from analog to digital flight control system and the uprated engines on booster.  This new digital flight control and telemetry systems rocket which is launched from the fixed platform rather than angled launch platform. The digital control system also provides for the launch of larger commercial satellites comprising of the wider and longer payload fairings like ST-type fairing.

Soyuz

It is a family of Soviet expendable launch systems which has been developed by OKB-1. It was manufactured by  Progress Rocket Space Centre in Samara, Russia. It is the most frequently used launch vehicle across the world. These vehicles are used as the launcher for crewed Soyuz spacecraft under the Soyuz programme.

Significance of the launch

Launch of 38 satellites in one go by Russia is of great significance in the light that, the Russian Space Sector is lagging behind ever since the fall of Soviet Union. It also lagged behind the international competitors because of several by corruption scandals and technological stagnation. In the year 2018, Russia had launched a Soyuz rocket carrying the Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut. But this mission was failed mid-flight and crew had to carry out emergency landing.

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