A Soyuz has successfully completed its final commercial launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The 6 February operation successfully placed six small communications satellites for Globalstar into orbit. Mission control reported that the satellites deployed in their planned orbits, and confirmed positive communication with all six.

Despite being the final commercial Soyuz launch from Baikonur, the facility will continue to launch Soyuz for the Russian government, including crewed flights to the International Space Station.

Partners Arianespace and Starsem, which jointly market the Soyuz for commercial satellite launches, are moving all future flights to Arianespace's facility in Kourou, French Guiana, from which it also launches the Ariane 5 rocket.

Baikonur is essentially a leftover from when Russia and Kazakhstan were part of the Soviet Union. The two nations have argued in recent years about the number of launches Kazakhstan will allow and how much the country would be paid for each.

Arianespace says the recent operation marks the 1,799th flight of the launch vehicle.

Source: Flight International