Russian officials could complete their investigation of a rocket failure Tuesday by mid-December, and multiple Russian news reports suggest the probe has narrowed to focus on the guidance computer on the Soyuz launcher’s Fregat upper stage.
A new Russian weather observatory and the first prototype for Telesat’s planned network of 100-plus broadband communications satellites in low Earth orbit were among 19 spacecraft feared lost after a Fregat rocket stage ran into trouble soon after liftoff aboard a Soyuz booster Tuesday.
A Soyuz rocket is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from a launch pad in Russia’s Far East with a new Russian weather satellite and 18 secondary payloads from companies and institutions in the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
Russia lofted a military satellite Thursday to join a network of orbiting early warning stations detecting and tracking missile launches around the world, providing the Russian government notice of potential attack.
A Russian-built Soyuz rocket moved to its launch pad on the northeastern coast of South America on Tuesday ahead of a Friday night flight with a Spanish-owned communications satellite to relay video and broadband signals between the Americas and Europe.
Two more Galileo satellites successfully catapulted into space from the French Guiana jungle aboard a Soyuz rocket Tuesday, putting Europe’s multibillion-dollar navigation system on track to begin limited global service later this year.