Hexbyte Glen Cove Russian rocket launches UK telecom satellites after delay thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Russian rocket launches UK telecom satellites after delay

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying 36 UK telecommunication and internet satellites blasted off from the Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East on Friday, the space agency said.

During the , which was carried out by Arianespace, the world’s leading satellite launch company, the Soyuz rocket took off at 1738 GMT.

“The launch went according to plan,” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Roscosmos , said on messaging app Telegram.

The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday but was postponed for technical reasons.

OneWeb, a London-headquartered company, is working to complete the construction of a constellation of low earth orbit satellites providing enhanced broadband and other services to countries around the world.

The company is competing against billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in the race to provide fast internet via satellites for the world’s .

The UK company plans for its global commercial internet service to be operational by next year, supported by some 650 satellites.

Earlier launches of 36 satellites each took place in April and March.

“The satellites arrive pre-assembled from Florida in containers. Our team takes them over in Russia and accompanies them from their arrival at the airport until the launch,” Arianespace launch campaign manager, Jean-Claude Garreau, told AFP.

The satellites are then launched in clusters of 36 and they separate into groups of four when in orbit, he added.

Arianespace, which has worked with Russia for close to two decades, is contracted to make 16 Soyuz launches between December 2020 and the end of 2022.

The Vostochny launch site is one of Russia’s most important space projects, designed to reduce reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome Moscow currently rents from Kazakhstan.

The project has been consistently behind schedule, with its construction marred for years by multiple controversies including corruption.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Russian rocket launches UK telecom satellites after delay (2021, May 28)
retrieved 29 May 202

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Two Russian cosmonauts, NASA astronaut return from ISS thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Two Russian cosmonauts, NASA astronaut return from ISS

Hexbyte Glen Cove

For the last decade, the space station’s population has varied between three and six as crews that blasted off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan came and went. 

Two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut touched down Saturday on the steppe of Kazakhstan following a half-year mission on the International Space Station, footage broadcast by the Russian space agency showed.

Russia’s Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov as well as NASA’s Kate Rubins landed on barren land at 0455 GMT around 150 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan.

The Soyuz descent module carring the trio landed upright after descending through a cloudless sky on a fine spring day in central Kazakhstan, a Roscosmos TV commentator confirmed.

Molecular biologist Rubins, 42, and former military pilot Ryzhikov, 46, were rounding off their second missions in space having both made their ISS debuts following launches in July and October of 2016 respectively.

Kud’-Sverchkov, 39, another ex-military man, was completing his first mission.

Footage from the landing site showed Rubins smiling as she received a bouquet of flowers from retired cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, who was there to greet the crew.

“It is great to be on this side of things,” Rubins said.

She will return to NASA’s hub in Houston while colleagues Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov are bound for Moscow as they wind down their missions.

During her debut mission in 2016, Rubins became the first person to sequence DNA in space.

In her second mission she continued her sequencing activities, worked on cariovascular experiments and oversaw a small patch of radishes “as they grew in orbit… harvesting them for analysis back on Earth”, according to NASA.

Busy orbital lab

For the last decade, the space station’s population has typically varied between three and six as crews that blasted off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan came and went.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX last year broke the monopoly that Russia and Baikonur had held on manned launches since the mothballing of the US shuttle programme in 2011, beginning a new chapter of spaceflight from US soil.

As a result the number of crew on board will reach 11 next week with the arrival of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency are expected to dock with the ISS next Friday, with the four-person crew they are replacing scheduled to return to Earth on April 28.

The absolute record for people aboard the ISS was set in 2009, when an arriving crew took the orbital lab’s population to 13.

That is also the joint all-time record for the most people in space at any one time after seven astronauts were aboard the NASA space shuttle Endeavour and a six-man crew was aboard the Mir space station simultaneously in March 1995.

Continuously occupied for more than 20 years, the ISS is expected to be retired before the end of the decade, raising questions about future cooperation between Russia and the West in space.

NASA on Friday said it had selected SpaceX to develop a spacecraft to land the first astronauts on the surface of the Moon since 1972—a huge victory for Elon Musk’s company.

April 12 marked the sixtieth anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic marking the beginning of human spaceflight and a key moment in the race between Moscow and the West.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union there has been more cooperation than competition, although it is difficult to disguise the appearance that Roscosmos and NASA are going their separate ways as the ISS winds down.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Two Russian cosmonauts, NASA astronaut return from ISS (2021, April 17)
retrieved 18 April 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-russian-cosmonauts-nasa-astronaut-iss.html

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