A Russian Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East on Thursday carrying 28 satellites, including a pair of Russian mapping satellites, secondary payloads from Germany, Japan, Spain, South Africa, and a dozen Earth-observing CubeSats and eight commercial weather payloads for Planet and Spire.
Russia’s Progress MS-09 cargo craft made a 3-hour, 40-minute trip from a launch pad in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on Monday, setting a record for the quickest journey to the orbiting research laboratory. Look back on the mission’s predawn launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and radar-guided docking at the space station with these images and videos.
The launch of a Soyuz rocket with a Progress refueling and resupply freighter was aborted seconds before liftoff Thursday in a rare scrub for Russia’s workhorse rocket, delaying the start of a journey to the International Space Station until at least Saturday and thwarting plans to test out a new automated fast-track rendezvous sequence.
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.