A Soyuz-FG booster vehicle, with a transfer orbit stage Fregat, was launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday.
A spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos said, “The launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket is scheduled for 10:41 am Moscow time (06:41 GMT).”
The spacecraft is taking five satellites into orbit: Russia’s Kanopus-B and MKA-MFI, a Belarusian BKA, a German TET-1 and a Canadian ADS-1B. The Fregat transfer orbit stage is expected to deliver the satellites into their orbit successively between 7:26 and 9:00 GMT.
The Canopus-B satellite was developed by the All-Russia Research Institute of Electromechanics and is designed for remote sensing of the Earth. It will work on a circular orbit at a height of 510 km.
The MKA-PN1 satellite, developed by Russia's NPO Lavochkin aerospace company, is intended to collect data to help meteorologists build models of ocean circulation - particularly in Arctic waters along Russian shores - and climate dynamics.
The German TET-1 satellite is being launched as part of the German Aerospace Center's On-Orbit Verification Program, and is aimed at testing new space technologies.
The ADS-1B satellite will form part of a ship-identification satellite system developed by the Ontario-based Com Dev aerospace company.
The launch was conducted from rocket site 31, which is a back up site for the first manned spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin. The site was used a week ago, as reported by Digital Journal on July 15, to take to the newest international crew to the ISS for the long-term Expedition 32/33.