Russia launches 73 satellites into orbit

A Russian Soyuz 2-1A rocket—like the one seen in this file photo taken on April 28, 2016—launched 73 satellites into orbit on Fr
A Russian Soyuz 2-1A rocket—like the one seen in this file photo taken on April 28, 2016—launched 73 satellites into orbit on Friday

An imaging satellite and 72 micro-satellites were launched into orbit Friday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Russian space agency Roscosmos and research centre Glavcosmos announced.

The Soyuz 2-1A rocket successfully lifted off at 0643 GMT with the satellite payload, Roscosmos said in a statement.

According to Russian news agencies, Glavcosmos, charged with putting the satellites into orbit, later reported that by 1441 GMT all the satellites had successfully separated. They were released into three different orbits.

"For the first time in the world, such a complex and large mission has been developed and implemented," said Glavcosmos.

The primary payload, the Kanopus-V-IK satellite, is to provide wide-angle images of the Earth and will be used especially to detect forest fires or to update the topography of maps.

The 72 include those made by Japan, Germany and Canada along with 62 nanosatellites known as CubeSats, developed by the United States.


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Jul 15, 2017
Let me get this right. One LARGE sat, 72 Micro-sats and 62 nano-sats???
Couldn't they claim a launch of 135 sats?? or do nano-sats not really count?
They'd certainly count if they hit an Astronauts spacesuit, but I'm still getting my head around this stuff. They often quote things travelling at 1000's of km per hour, but if an object is in your orbit, then isn't it travelling at the EXACT SAME speed, therefore nearly 0 relative velocity? only difference would be if it's retrograde, then DOUBLE the velocity.

That's some launch. The deploy part of the mission would have been tense.

I would love to watch this launch, much like SpaceX launches. There needs to be an internet video Stream dedicated to rocket launches across the globe. I'd tune in.

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