Russia to launch 38 satellites for 18 countries

The launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying 38 foreign satellites from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome was delayed twice due to technical problems, according to Russian space agency Roscosmos.

The Soyuz blaster launched against the gray and gloomy sky at 0607 GMT, according to a video released by Roscosmos.

“From the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft from 18 countries took flight,” Roscosmos said on Twitter.

South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, and Brazil are among the countries whose satellites will be launched into space by the rocket.

Among them is the Challenge-1, Tunisia’s first satellite, which was built entirely in Tunisia by the Telnet telecommunications company.

After a voltage spike was observed, the launch was postponed twice from Saturday.

The Russian space industry has lagged behind foreign rivals since the collapse of the Soviet Union, beset by graft allegations and technical stagnation.

A Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut failed mid-flight in 2018, causing the crew to land safely. All of them were unharmed.

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