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A Russian Soyuz rocket taking off from Russian Kosovo's Vostochny in the Far East on Thursday (21:07 PM EST) on Wednesday (0:07 PM EST) carries 28 satellites, including two Russian remote sensing satellites and secondary payloads from Germany , Japan and Spain South Africa and a dozen Earth Observing CubeSats and eight commercial bettor payloads for Planet and Spire.
Kanopus V 5 and 6 earth observation satellites support the Russian government in disaster response, mapping and forest fire detection. They are the largest payloads to be launched into space with the Soyuz 2.1
The launch Thursday took place at 11:07:18 local time in the Vostochny Cosmodrome, in the Russian region of Amur near the border with China. The Soyuz flight was the fourth launch of Vostochny since the new spaceport was put into service in 2016, and the 17th space mission to lift off from a Russia-based launch base this year.
It was also the 16th launch of a Russian variant The venerable Soyuz rocket this year from the Russian spaceports and the Guiana Space Center in South America, and all but one were successful. No further Russian launches are expected before the end of the year.
After traveling northeast from Vostochny to the northwest, the Soyuz 2.1a rocket released a Fregat upper stage less than 10 minutes after take off to begin a series of maneuvers around the 28 satellites in three to unfold different orbits several hundred miles above the earth.
The two Kanopus satellites should part from the Fregat upper stage at 0306 GMT (10:06 PM EST) and 0312 GMT (10:12 PM EST) – about an hour after launch – followed by other Fregat engines To release the 26 secondary payloads in a carefully choreographed sequence at approximately 04:30 GMT (11:30 am EST) and 0625 GMT (1:25 pm EST) Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency.
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