In the early hours of this Wednesday, Roscosmos launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, for Arianespace and its subsidiary Starsem, the Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 34 OneWeb satellites within mission number 36. After several minutes, the orbital block was placed in a suborbital trajectory.
According to the telemetry information received at the Central Information Center, the elevation contact, the rocket flight, staging and orbital locking at an altitude of 450 kilometers were carried out completely in normal mode.
Afterward, Fregat’s upper stage continued to launch 34 vehicles into the target circular orbit. Three and a half hours later, the satellites, according to a certain program, alternately separated from the Russian “accelerator”, which was developed at SA Lavochkin.
The launch vehicle engines also ran in normal mode, including the RD-107/108 family engines of the first and second stages, developed in the Scientific and Production Association “Energomash” named after the academic VP Glushko and the RD-0124 third stage engine, created in the Voronezh rocket motor construction center (part of the integrated rocket motor construction structure headed by NPO Energomash of Roscosmos State Corporation).
With this release, the low-orbit constellation OneWeb will increase by 34 satellites and reach 322. This launch became the tenth within the OneWeb program, the second for Baikonur in 2021 and the fourth for this cosmodrome as a whole. The work is being carried out under a contract between Glavkosmos (part of Roskosmos) and Arianespace and Starsem.