VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, July 5. /TASS/. Russia planned seven space launches for July, Head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin told reporters on Friday after a successful launch of the carrier rocket Soyuz-2.1b with the upper stage Fregat, weather satellite Meteor-M No.2-2 and 32 small spacecraft from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.
"We have to carry out the same number of space launches this month as we did over the entire six months' period, in order to drive up the figure that is much higher than last year," he said. "Seven launches in total," Rogozin added.
The official noted that around six rocket launches will be carried out at the Vostochny Cosmodrome next year. "We are hoping that the Vostochny Cosmodrome will be much busier next year. We are planning to reschedule commercial and state launches [to be carried out] here. Overall, next year from four to six launches are planned here," he said.
It was reported earlier that the carrier rocket Soyuz-2.1b with the upper stage Fregat, the weather satellite Meteor-M No.2-2 and 32 small spacecraft were launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. In about nine minutes from the launch, the rocket head (the upper stage and the space vehicles) separated from the third stage launcher, and the upper stage Fregat started the program to deliver the space vehicles to their final orbits.
"The program to launch Meteor-M No.2-2 and 32 space vehicles will take 4.5 hours," Roscosmos specified. Meteor-M No.2-2 is a weather satellite designed by VNIIEM Corporation. Meteor-M No.2-1 was lost during the launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on November 28, 2017.
Thirty-two satellites will be also placed into orbit. Three of them are Russian CubeSat satellites for space research - Socrat, VDNH-80 and AmurSat. The other satellites belong to customers from Finland, the UK, France, Germany, the US, Israel, Sweden, Thailand, Ecuador, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
The July launch became the first liftoff from the Vostochny Cosmodrome this year. Roscosmos Director-General Dmitry Rogozin and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov watched the takeoff.
Currently, the Vostochny Cosmodrome has only one track for the launch of unmanned spacecraft. Roscosmos has yet to open another track for the launch of manned spacecraft at Vostochny Cosmodrome.
Roscosmos had planned 45 launches for 2019, including space rocket launches and test launches of ballistic missiles.