WATCH: Russian Soyuz rocket launches 34 satellites into orbit as part of mission to expand internet coverage throughout globe
A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying 34 satellites owned by the British firm OneWeb has successfully blasted off from Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country's Far East. Its payload is poised to help expand global internet coverage.
It is the tenth launch for the OneWeb program and the fourth from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The British company plans to send 648 satellites into space to provide global internet broadband services, and thus far a total of 322 have been launched.
The rocket departed at 9:07pm local time (6:07pm UTC) on Tuesday, under the control of Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos.
Writing on Twitter, Glavkosmos confirmed a successful launch.
Congratulations!🚀 All 34 @OneWeb satellites🛰 successfully separated from the #Fregat upper stage! This mission became the 1️⃣0️⃣th launch for #OneWeb and the 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣th for #Fregat!Learn more: https://t.co/0hHbK7FhOxpic.twitter.com/ChctegM8JU— GLAVKOSMOS (@glavkosmosJSC) September 14, 2021
OneWeb also wrote about the mission, thanking everyone who made it a success.
Mission success! 🚀 We are pleased to confirm signal acquisition of all 34 satellites. This latest launch brings our total in-orbit constellation to 322 satellites, nearly half of our entire constellation. Thank you to everyone who made today's mission a success. #OneWebLaunch10pic.twitter.com/Gsx5ytR4vp— OneWeb (@OneWeb) September 15, 2021
The launch 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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