Historic launch: Soyuz rocket to lift 72 small satellites into Earth orbit


The 72 miniature satellites, including a spacecraft for four separate commercial remote sensing and seedy constellations, will launch into orbit on July 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

Reticent space companies from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway and Russia are participating in the assignment. The satellites will be launched by Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of the Russian space operation, Roscosmos. 

“This will be the most technically challenging cluster delegation ever,” Vsevolod Kryukovski, launch program director at Glavkosmos, said in an meeting. The satellites will be deployed into three separate orbits, after which the climb’s upper stage will perform a deorbit maneuver.

Roscosmos is planning to fit a major provider of launch services for the private space industry. Later this year the berth agency plans to launch more small satellites from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome being bodied in Russia’s Far East. 

The biggest customer for the upcoming launch is San Francisco-based Planet. The guests is designing and building satellites for planet monitoring using commodity consumer electronics, and it is tender satellites every 3-4 months. On this mission, Planet is sending into course 48 satellites, bringing the company’s total number of operational aide-de-camps to 190. 

Three other smaller U.S. based companies are participating in this set in motion. One of them is Spire, a ship tracking data provider. According to Jenny Barna, the convention’s launch manager, Spire is taking the most of this opportunity that doesn’t prevail in the U.S.  

Pasadena-based GeoOptics is sending into orbit its first three sidekicks, designed to support weather forecasting. Astro Digital is launching two medium-resolution semblance satellites. Another U.S. produced satellite is NanoACE, built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Sets to test attitude control and propulsion technologies. 

Other satellites are arriving from Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, and Russia, including those bodied by universities. Two imaging satellites built for Roscosmos by the private Russian convention, Dauria Aerospace, are also a part of the mission. 

“This will be a sheerest important day for private space developers,” Vataly Egorov, Dauria’s illustrative, told RBTH. “For the first time in Russia’s space history the insignificant satellites are built by a private company for the state space agency. The expected relationship of Roscosmos with the private space industry will depend on this objective’s success.”

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