October 15, 2021

On October 14, 2021, at 09:40:10 Moscow time, the launch crews of Roscosmos subsidiaries launched a space rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome consisting of a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle, a Fregat upper stage and 36 OneWeb spacecraft under Mission 49. 562 seconds after liftoff, at 09:49:32 UTC, the upper stage separated from the rocket’s third stage in a suborbital trajectory. This was the 17th launch of Russian space rockets in 2021.

According to telemetry information from the Roscosmos Central Information Station, the launch, stages and the orbital unit separation went flawlessly. After that, the Fregat upper stage continued to inject 36 spacecraft into orbit. To reach the target circular orbit altitude of 450 kilometers, the booster produced by NPO Lavochkin (part of Roscosmos) will fire its cruise engine twice. According to the flight sequence, the separation of satellites is planned in nine stages in different points of the orbit between 10:58 UTC to 13:31 UTC on October 14, 2021. This launch will bring OneWeb’s low-orbit constellation to 358 satellites.

Today’s launch was the sixth commercial launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome under contracts between Glavkosmos (part of Roscosmos), Arianespace, a European launch services provider, operator of OneWeb launches using Soyuz-2 launch vehicles and Starsem for OneWeb satellite constellation operator from the Russian launch site.

The Soyuz-2 launch vehicle is based on the Soyuz-U mass-produced rocket. The Progress Rocket and Space Center (Samara, part of Roscosmos) acts as its head developer. The Soyuz-2 family rockets use advanced propulsion systems and modern control and measurement systems, which improve technical and operational performance. Structurally, as all the Soyuz family rockets are based on the consecutive separation of rocket stages. In combination with the Fregat upper stage it is intended for launching spacecraft into near-Earth orbits at various altitudes and inclinations, including geostationary and geostationary transfer orbit, as well as outgoing trajectories.

The first and second stages employ the RD-107A and RD-108A liquid-propellant rocket engines, with the four-chamber RD-0124 engine in the third stage. The RD-107 and RD-108 engines developed by Russia’s NPO Energomash (Khimki, part of Roscosmos) are reliably used to perform Russia’s programs of crewed and uncrewed flights. To date, the basic RD-107 engines for the first stage and RD-108 engines for the second stage have seen 18 modifications for various programs.

More from this category:
May 5, 2021

The Baikonur Cosmodrome is preparing to launch the next batch of the OneWeb satellite company spacecraft. In accordance with the comprehensive preparations schedule, the specialists…

full story
August 20, 2014

According to the working schedule of Guiana Space Centre today is the last preparation day before the launch of Soyuz-ST-B booster with Fregat-MT upper stage…

full story
November 25, 2015

New ISS crew period of work onboard the station was increased from 6 to 7 months due to the flight program adjustment, – crew commander…

full story
May 27, 2019

The “Soyuz-2.1b” launch vehicle with the “Glonass-M” navigation satellite launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. The launch was performed at 09:23 am (Moscow time) by the…

full story
February 26, 2014

Roscosmos and JAXA representatives started working on Russian and Japanese space telescopes projects uniting. Both telescopes are designed to explore extragalactic space rays. The devices…

full story
August 12, 2014

On August 12 52 years ago Vostok-4 spacecraft with Pavel Popovich onboard was launched to perform the first team flight along with Vostok-3 orbital spacecraft…

full story
June 3, 2019

In accordance with the schedule, on June 1, 2019, specialists of the Vostochny Space Center (TSENKI company branch) and NPO Lavochkin (part of the Roscosmos…

full story
September 21, 2016

In case specialists manage to eliminate all the failures in Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft and conduct additional testing necessary the launch can possibly take place within…

full story