Three rockets launched on the same day from three separate facilities have successfully put six satellites into orbit.

The first, a Soyuz U launched from Russia's Plesetsk military spaceport, lofted a reconnaissance satellite into low earth orbit (LEO) for the Russian military. The satellite is reportedly a Yantar-4K2M (Kobalt M) optical reconnaissance satellite.

Shortly after, a Japanese H-IIA launched from Tanegashima Space Center, carrying four satellites to orbit. One satellite, GCOM W1, alternately called Shizuku (dew), will study global water circulation and climate change for Japanese space agency JAXA. The second major payload is the Kompsat 3 Earth observation satellite, launched for Korea. Two smaller satellites, SDS-4 demonstration satellite and Horyu-2 student satellite, were also aboard.

Finally, a Proton launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying Nimiq 6 to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Nimiq will provide Ku-band direct broadcasting television for Canadian users. The Breeze-M upper stage must make a series of burns, altogether taking roughly nine hours to reach the separation point.

 Soyuz Launch


Source: Flight International