February 1, 2018
Soyuz-2.1А LV with two KANOPUS-V satellites lift off
On February 1, 2018 at 05:07:18 Moscow time, Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle successfully lifted off from VOSTOCHNY Cosmodrome. The launch mission is to deliver 2 Earth observation Kanopus-V satellites (№3 and №4) and 9 smallsats piggybacked under the federal and commercial contracts of Glavkosmos to their target orbits.
According the flight program, the first three stages of Soyuz-2.1b have taken the ascent unit into low orbit just short of eight minutes and forty-eight seconds after liftoff. From this point in the mission, the Fregat upper stage performs planned mission maneuvers to advance the satellites to their planned orbits. Separation of the Kanopus-V satellites is scheduled to occur approximately 1 hour after lift-off.
Launch of the Soyuz-2-1a carrying the Canopus-V spacecraft 3 and 4
Soyuz-2 launcher is based on the Soyuz-U series. Soyuz-2 features advanced engines and up-to-date control and telemetry systems that significantly enhance the LV technical and operational specifications. The upgrading was done in two phases. At phase 1а, a standardized Soyuz-2.1a was born to accommodate various upper composites with fairings of up to 4.11m in diameter. The LV is capable to orbit a payload with improved accuracy; the upgraded control system and stage I-II engines have allowed for increasing of the payload mass to be lofted to the low Earth orbit. At phase 1b resulted in Soyuz-2.1b, stage III was refitted with a state-of-the-art 14D23 (RD-0124) engine which made its performance even better.
The prime LV designer is Progress Space Rocket Center (the city of Samara). Depending on a mission, Soyuz-2 launcher can be configured with the Fregat upper stage. A standard Fregat upper stage was designed by Lavochkin Association to complement various launchers in order to put satellites in different orbits. It is used in Soyuz rockets. A standard Fregat upper stage equipped with extra fuel tanks or drop-off tanks evolved to highly efficient upper stage modifications: Fregat-MT and Fregat-SB.
Roscosmos Press Release: http://en.roscosmos.ru/20712/
Images, Video Text, Credits: Roscosmos/Günter Space Page.