Two Soyuz launches successful

Washington DC
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Two Soyuz launch vehicles have successfully put satellites into orbit on 25 June.

The first launch, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, was a Soyuz 2-1B, launching an Earth imagery satellite for the Russian government. The launch was confirmed successful, and the satellite, called Resurs-P1, has reached a sun-synchronous transfer orbit. The satellite will observe the Earth for the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, amongst other government organizations.

The second launch, from Kourou, French Guiana, was in progress at the time of publication, putting four small commercial communications satellites in medium Earth orbit. The satellites, called O3b, are launched four at a time aboard Soyuz: the company has two more launches scheduled, with at least one more in the future. The Soyuz ST-B - essentially a Soyuz 2-1b marketed by Arianespace - flew with a Fregat upper stage. The launch was delayed from 24 June due to high winds at altitude. The 25 June attempt was further delayed a half-hour due to weather concerns.

As of the time of publication, third-stage ignition was confirmed and the launch conducted nominally. Roughly two hours and three further upper stage burns remain before payload separation. The launch marks the fifth Soyuz launch from French Guiana.

The Soyuz 2-1b is powered by a single RD-118 on the first (core) stage, supplemented by four liquid-fuel boosters. The third stage is powered by an RD-0124.

According to Flightglobal Ascend's database, the launches are Soyuz's 1751st and 1752nd respectively.