The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket, which is to put 38 satellites from 18 countries into orbit, has been postponed from the Baikonur cosmodrome to a reserve day. This was reported by the press service of Roscosmos.
“The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 foreign spacecraft on board from the Baikonur cosmodrome has been postponed to a backup date. The launch time will be announced additionally,” Roscosmos said in a Telegram channel.
In addition, the presenter, during an online broadcast on Roscosmos TV, said that the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle was postponed for technical reasons.
“The reasons are technical, in practice this happens,” he said.
Later, the state corporation clarified that the launch of the rocket is now scheduled for 09:07 Moscow time on March 21.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket will launch into orbit the Earth remote sensing (ERS) spacecraft CAS500-1 (Republic of Korea), the Japanese ELSA-d space debris remover, the Japanese GRUS remote sensing satellites, a small Saudi Arabian spacecraft for Earth imaging and communications NAJM-1, communications satellites of the Technical University of Berlin.
Also, the first satellite of the Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE) DZZ, a cubesat of the Sirius center and NRU HSE, as well as the Orbikraft-Zorkiy satellite of the Sputniks company will go into orbit from the Baikonur cosmodrome. This is the first commercial launch of Glavkosmos Launch Services (part of Roskosmos).
Earlier, a source in the rocket and space industry told TASS that the rocket for launching 38 spacecraft will be in white and blue instead of the standard gray-orange color combination. Later, Roscosmos confirmed this information. The design change is a reference to the Vostok launch vehicle prototype installed on the territory of VDNKh (on such a rocket Yuri Gagarin made the first flight into space in the history of mankind) and to the corporate colors of Glavkosmos Launch Services and Roskosmos.