The first activation of the engines of the Fregat upper stage, which, after separating from the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle, continued to put the OneWeb communication satellites into orbit, took place at the estimated time. Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin announced this on his Telegram channel on Monday, April 26.
“Start-up normally. The separation of the head unit with 36 spacecraft and the first activation of the propulsion system of the Fregat upper stage took place at the estimated time, ”Rogozin wrote.
The Soyuz-2.1b rocket with 36 communication satellites of the British company OneWeb was launched at 01:14 Moscow time from the Vostochny cosmodrome.
It will take almost four hours for the spacecraft to be taken out by the upper stage. The satellites will be separated in several stages.
Earlier, on April 25, the British OneWeb announced that they would devote the launch of their satellites to the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space, and the image of the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was used as the mission emblem.
This is the sixth OneWeb mission and the second launch of British vehicles from Vostochny.