Vostochny has first launch as Soyuz 2-1a Volga flies successfully

by | Apr 28, 2016 | Launches, Russia, Satellites, Science, Soyuz | 0 comments

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, witnessed the first flight of an orbital launch vehicle from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in Far Eastern Russia on 28 April 2015. Following a one-day delay due to a ground support fault, the Soyuz 2-1a Volga rocket lifted off from the launch pad at 0201 GMT.

Aboard the rocket was the 620 kg scientific satellite, Lomonosov, which is designed to study gamma ray bursts, a 4 kg 3U cubesat experimental , called SamSat-218, and a 531 kg remote sensing and civilian communications technology test satellite, Aist-2D.

Vostochny is really a refurbishment of the old Svobodny launch site in Siberia, Russia. It has been developed to allow the launch of payloads from territory as close to the equator as possible (for maximum Earth spin boost for certain orbits) from within Russian territory without overflying other nations. The plan is that all Russian flights currently taking place from the leased Baikonur Cosmodrome, near Tyuratam in Kazakstan, will be moved to Vostochny – eventually saving the Russian space programme the equivalent of US$115 million in annual leasing charges.

Soyuz 2-1a Volga rocket about to launch on Vostochny's first launch. Courtesy: Roscosmos via RT

Soyuz 2-1a Volga rocket about to launch on Vostochny’s first launch. Courtesy: Roscosmos via RT

Update on 5 May 2016:  After the launch , Samara State Aerospace University reported that Samsat-218 was only transmitting fragmentary signals.

 

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