Soyuz/Fregat rocket carries 2 Russian Earth observation satellites and 26 ride-share smallsats into separate orbits

by Peter B. de Selding

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Russia's Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat rocket gave fresh proof of its viability for the fast-growing cubesat market on Dec. 27 with the launch of 26 ride-share satellites into two separate orbits from Russia's new, commercially oriented Vostochny Cosmodrome. All 28 satellites were reported healthy in orbit and sending signals.

The ride-share customers included Planet, which had 12 Flock-3K Dove satellites aboard to add to Planet's global constellation of Earth observation satellites; and Spire Global, which provided eight Lemur satellites for ship and aircraft tracking and GPS radio . . .

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