A Russian Soyuz booster lifted off Friday from Kazakhstan on a complex mission to deploy 73 satellites into three different orbits, including a Russian spacecraft to locate forest fires, 48 CubeSats for Planet’s global Earth observation fleet, and eight nanosatellites for Spire Global’s commercial weather network.
A balky interplanetary seismic instrument that ran into technical problems in 2015, forcing a two-year delay in the launch of NASA’s InSight lander to Mars, cleared a major test last week after engineers redesigned part of the sensor package, boosting confidence that the mission will be ready to blast off in May 2018.
Watch a video replay of Friday night’s blastoff of a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana Space Center with Hispasat 36W-1, a communications satellite developed by OHB in Germany for Spain’s Hispasat to test out new telecom technologies and provide data networking, video and broadband services over South America and Europe.
A Russian Soyuz rocket lifted off Friday night from a tropical spaceport in French Guiana with a commercial communications satellite setting off on a dual mission to demonstrate new space technologies and bridge the Atlantic with data, video and voice relays. Launch occurred at 0103:34 GMT Saturday (8:03:34 p.m. EST Friday).