GK Launch Services
A Soyuz rocket launched 38 satellites from 18 countries on Monday, including South Korea’s CAS500-1 remote sensing satellite, in the first all-commercial rideshare mission GK Launch Services has arranged without a Russian government satellite onboard.
The launch of a Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying a South Korean remote sensing satellite and three dozen smaller satellites was delayed Saturday due to a problem with the rocket’s upper stage.
The Russian company that markets commercial Soyuz launches says it is offering capacity on a launch of a Russian lunar mission next year for smallsat secondary payloads.
SpaceX disclosed new details about its small satellite rideshare efforts Feb. 5 as it, and other programs like it by large launch vehicle operators, put new pricing pressure on small launch vehicle companies.
After years of delays, construction mishaps and outrageous corruption scandals, Russia’s new premier space launch facility — the Vostochny Cosmodrome — saw the first successful flight of commercial payloads aboard a Soyuz 2.1A rocket.