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Fregat failure causes loss of 19 satellites on a Soyuz rocket
Posted: Sun, Dec 3, 2017, 8:58 AM ET (1358 GMT)
Soyuz launch from Vostochny, November 2017 (Roscosmos) Nineteen satellites launched on a Soyuz rocket Tuesday were lost due to a problem with a Soyuz rocket's upper stage. The Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome at 12:41 a.m. Eastern Tuesday carrying the Meteor-M No.2-1 polar-orbiting weather satellite and 18 smallsat secondary payloads. While the launch initially appeared to go according to plan, Roscosmos announced several hours later that it was unable to contact the Meteor-M satellite "due to its absence in the target orbit." The agency later said that the Fregat reentered over the north Atlantic, apparently because of a problem that caused the upper stage to orient itself in the wrong direction. The cause the failure is under investigation.
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