Russia’s brand new cosmodrome launches first-ever rocket

Russia’s brand new cosmodrome launches first-ever rocket


Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome has conducted its first space launch on Thursday. A Soyuz rocket boosted three scientific and distance viewing satellites into orbit.
The lift-off took place at 5:01am Moscow time (2:01am GMT) and some 8 minutes 44 seconds into the flight the Volga upper stage carrying three satellites successfully separated from the Soyuz rocket.

All three satellites launched on the Soyuz rocket have been successfully deployed to their specified orbits. Experimental nanosatellite SamSat-218 disconnected from the Volga payload assist module at 07:07am Msocow time (04:07 GMT). Ten seconds later two main payload satellites, Lomonosov and Aist-l, also reached their destinations.
The launch on Thursday was observed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who decided to stay for an extra day to personally take part in the event.
“I want to congratulate you. There’s a lot to be proud of,” Putin told Roscosmos staff following the successful launch. “The launch could technically have taken place yesterday, but the hardware overreacted and it was aborted. But that’s a normal occurrence.”
“Most importantly, the launch complex you developed is operating, functioning well,” the President added. “There’s a lot of work up ahead, but this was certainly a very serious, significant step in the development of Russian cosmonautics.”
The historic launch came a day behind schedule. First planned for Wednesday, it was aborted at the last minute when automatic safety systems detected a fail signal in one of their sensors.
“The first launch from a new pad is an important and sensitive event. Things like this happen. We will work it out,” the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Igor Komarov, said in comments on the hitch.
Vice-Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin – something of a ‘space tsar’ in the Russian government – also watched the launch at the site, and was joined by the chief of Russian Space Troops, Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Golovko.
Vostochny is located in a desolate area of the Amur Region in Russia’s Far East, which allows spent stages to safely land in the taiga or neutral waters. Its construction was launched in 2012, as Russia saw the need for a domestic launch site for civilian rockets.
Russia has the large military launch facilities Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar, but for civilian launches has to rely primarily on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. -RT


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