Published: Wed, November 29, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

'Contact lost' with spacecraft after second launch from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome

'Contact lost' with spacecraft after second launch from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome

Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos says it has failed to establish contact with Russia's Meteor-M № 2-1 weather satellite, which had been launched atop a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country's Far East on Tuesday.

Clients from Canada, the United States, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Norway had equipment on the launch.

An worldwide payload of satellites launched from Russia's new cosmodrome has failed to reach orbit and is feared lost in the ocean.

The Roscosmos space agency reported that today's liftoff proceeded as planned, using a Soyuz-2-1b variant of Russia's workhorse rocket.

The Meteor-M satellite was supposed to become part of Russia's constellation of weather satellites in low Earth orbit.

"Information is now being analysed".

"The spacecraft is not to be found in the orbit", the source said.

"All the initial stages of the rocket's flight went according to plan", Roscosmos said after the liftoff.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday that the spaceport would "modernise" Russia's space industry.

The launch was meant to be a triumphant success for Vladimir Putin and his new cosmodrome in Siberia.

'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.

The third launch from Vostochny is scheduled for December 22. The ambitious project was started as a way to reduce Russia's dependence on its central launch compound in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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