After technical problems, Russia has postponed the launch of a rocket with 38 satellites from the Baikonur spaceport (Kazakhstan) until this Monday. According to this, the launch vehicle of the type “Soyuz 2.1a” will bring the satellites from 18 countries, including Germany, into space. The Russian space agency Roskosmos had surprisingly canceled the start, initially planned for Saturday, then moved it to Sunday and now to March 22nd.
Roscosmos did not provide any information about the exact causes for the shift. “The reasons are technical, something like that happens in practice,” said a spokesman for the television channel Roskosmos TV on Saturday. Roskosmos boss Dmitri Rogozin later emphasized that the launcher itself was in perfect condition.
Elsa-d is supposed to pick up satellite junk
According to Russian sources, the satellites also include a Japanese device called Elsa-d, which is said to be the first to collect scrap from, for example, disused satellites. In view of the vast amount of space junk, it serves sustainability in the cosmos, it said. The Technical University of Berlin reportedly has several radio satellites on board the mission.
Many of the space bodies from the individual countries, including Saudi Arabia and South Korea, are used for earth exploration and are supposed to send images and data from the planet to ground stations. According to Roskosmos, these are smaller satellites in different formats with a mass of up to 200 kilograms.
They were said to be placed in different orbits. The countries represented also include Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Brazil, Canada, Israel and Great Britain.