First space launch conducted from Vostochny Cosmodrome

First space launch conducted from Vostochny CosmodromeA Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle carrying three satellites blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on Thursday.

It is the inaugural launch from the new Russian cosmodrome, built in the Amur region.

The launch was initially expected to take place at 5:01 a.m. on Wednesday, but it was postponed for 24 hours due to technical reasons.

The satellites Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218, lifted by a Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle, which blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome, have been placed into an interim orbit, an Interfax correspondent reported.

The next launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome is scheduled for 2017, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Igor Komarov told journalists.

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"The next launch is scheduled for 2017. We are planning that two launches from the Vostochny cosmodrome will take place in the first half of next year. We expect that there will be six launches [annually] starting from 2018," Komarov said.

The Kanopus and Meteor satellites will be launched from the Vostochny cosmodrome in 2017, he said.
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