Russian Federation loses contact with Meteor-M satellite

Souyz 2 meteor M russia satellite

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said it had been unable to establish communications with the Meteor M 2-1 satellite which was launched atop a Soyuz-2 booster rocket on Tuesday (28 November) from Russia's new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East.

The launch was at 14:41 (05:41 GMT), from Vostochny cosmodrome in Russia's far east.

But the state space agency Roscosmos later said although the upper stage had reached interim orbit, the satellite then failed to make contact with ground control "because of its absence in the final orbit".

The rocket carried the Meteor-M 2.1 weather satellite and the secondary payload of 18 smaller satellites from other countries, including Canada, Norway, Japan and the US.

"The spacecraft is not to be found in the orbit", the source said. Information received from the satellite could also have been used to monitor Earth's radiation balance.

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Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that such contracts would help Russian Federation modernise its space industry.

The first launch from Vostochny spaceport took place in April 2016, with President Vladimir Putin overseeing the take-off.

'The launch of foreign devices with the help of Russian launch vehicles should strengthen our positions on the global market of space services and increase the volume of extra-budgetary funds and investments, ' he said.

Initial reports that something was wrong with the launch were coming in through message boards such as that potentially linked a fireball seen in the skies over Scotland and Belgium with the failed mission.

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