Keeping up with the Indians – Russia launches Soyuz rocket carrying 73 satellites

by | Jul 14, 2017 | commercial launch services, Launches, Russia, Satellites, Seradata News

At 0636 GMT, on 14 July, the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, hosted the launch of a Russian Soyuz 2-1A vehicle, carrying 73 payloads into low Earth orbit (LEO). The mission’s primary payload was the KANOPUS -V-IK 1, built for Roscosmos by JSC VNIIEM to provide Earth observation (EO) and sensor data. Of the other 72 payloads, just five had Russian involvement.

In order to accomplish the mission, the Fregat upper stage needed to complete a series of seven engine firings. This enabled entry into the correct initial orbit (479 x 523 km) for the primary KANOPUS payload, then a further 100 km (595 x 601 km) ascent to release all the secondary payloads except for the DOVEs, followed by a 150 km descent (450 x 482 km) to release the DOVEs. The seventh and final engine firing was to drive the Fregat into a destructive re-entry 8 hours and 42 minutes after the mission started.

The Soyuz 2-1A lifts off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying 73 satellites. Courtesy of Roscosmos


The other payloads from Russia consisted of: two MKA-N 6U cubesats built for Roscosmos as demonstrators for the cubesat platform – these cubesats carry an Earth imaging payload; a mission designed by the Moscow Aviation Institute to provide cubesat experience to its students; ISKRA-MAI-85, a 1U cubesat mission (UTE-YUZGU) from the South-Western State University, Kursk, with input from the Universidad Technologica Equinoccial, Ecuador; and an independent mission designed by students from the Moscow Polytechnic University to deploy a large solar reflector in LEO called MAYAK.

The USA was the main source of the co-payloads, with EO company Planet having 48 of their DOVE 3U cubesats on board. Spire, a fellow USA Earth sensing company, also entrusted eight 3U cubesat LEMUR-2s to the launch. Other American companies on the launch manifest were GeoOptics with three earth sensing CICERO cubesats, Astro Digital with two LANDMAPPER-BC cubesats, and Tyvak with its technology demonstrator cubesat, NANOACE. The remaining international customers were: two German universities, the University of Stuttgart with its FLYING LAPTOP microsatellite and TU Berlin with TECHNOSAT; the Norwegian Space Centre with two Canadian-built microsatellites NORSAT-1/2, and Japan’s Weather News International (WNI) and its commercial meteorological satellite, WNISAT-1R.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

About Rob Coppinger

Rob Coppinger is a recovering powerpoint user and engineer who mistakenly thought journalism was more glamorous than production engineering. He Read more

T+1 as Hyperbola launches itself far, far above the blogosphere

All things spaceflight industry get linked too and commented on in Hyperbola, the new blog from Flight's technical reporter Rob Read more

On-orbit propellant fever!!

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog from Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger.

NASA gives public a new Dawn

Hyperbola is a technology orientated blog by flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger

While you’re waiting for that next Shuttle launch…

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight's technical reporter Rob Coppinger

More news bites for those of you living in the hypersonic lane

Hypebola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Romania in space

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger

Sputnik week’s first few news bites

Hyperbola is a technology orientated spaceflight blog by Flight technical reporter Rob Coppinger