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22 Mar, 2021 16:19

In historic mission, Russian Soyuz carrier rocket launches 38 satellites from 18 countries into orbit around planet Earth (VIDEO)

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying 38 satellites from 18 different nations successfully blasted off on Monday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was the first fully commercial launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle.

The spacecraft was sent into orbit to deploy satellites from countries like South Korea, Germany, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

For the first time in 45 years, Soyuz was painted in white and blue, instead of the classic grey-orange of the last few decades. 

About nine minutes after the rocket took off, the upper stage separated from the rest of the spacecraft and, over time, began to drop satellites into orbit.

The launch, initially scheduled for Saturday but postponed to Monday,  took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the largest operational space launch facility in the world. Initially built in the USSR as the base of the Soviet space program, it is now leased by Russia from the Kazakh government. Sputnik 1, the first-ever artificial satellite, was launched from the facility. 

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