For the first time since a Russian Soyuz rocket launched 73 satellites in July 2017, Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, is confirming a problem with the Fregat upper stage.
An insurance company paid Astro Digital’s claim for the loss of two cubesats sent into orbit on a Russian Soyuz rocket after the Earth imaging and analysis company proved the failure stemmed from a launch problem, according to two space industry executives.
At least eight of the nine cubesats sent by the Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket into a 600-kilometer orbit July 14 alongside a larger spacecraft, the Kanopus-V-IK Russian Earth-imaging satellite, are not responding to commands from their operators.
An executive with the company that provided launch services for more than 70 satellites launched on a Soyuz in July said there is no evidence that the failure of several of those satellites was caused by the rocket.
Glavkosmos Director General Denis Lyskov said at the Paris Air Show Tuesday that future missions could fly two tourists and one professional cosmonaut, possibly visiting the ISS.
Russian company Glavkosmos is seeking to become a major player in the small satellite launch market, with plans to launch up to 120 satellites as secondary payloads on three Soyuz missions this year.