PARIS, December 2. /TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz-ST-A rocket with the Falcon Eye 2 satellite of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lifted off from the Kourou space center in French Guiana on Wednesday, according to a live broadcast by Arianespace.
In line with the telemetry data, released during the broadcast, Falcon Eye 2 and the Fregat booster separated from the rocket approximately nine minutes into the flight.
The satellite was put into its designated geosynchronous orbit at the average altitude of about 611 kilometers. The entire mission lasted about one hour.
According to Arianespace, FalconEye is "a high performance optical Earth observation satellite system for the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAEAF) manufactured by the consortium of Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space." It will also be used for imaging the Earth surface for commercial projects.
The launch was earlier scheduled for November 29, but was postponed until November 30 and then to December 1. The launch did not take place on Tuesday as well, due to problems with transmitting telemetry data.
Director General of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on his Facebook page that the yet another delay could have been caused by ground infrastructure glitches, and no problems related to the technical condition of the rocket and the Fregat booster were reported.
The Soyuz-ST-A carrier rocket was developed and is manufactured by Russia’s Progress Space Rocket Center under the Soyuz program at the Guiana Space Center.
The launch vehicle is a modification of the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket of stage 1a adapted to the requirements of operation at the Guiana Space Center in terms of safety (receipt of telecommands from Earth to terminate the flight), the telemetry system (transmitters operating in the decimeter band with the European telemetry frame structure) and the conditions of operation (increased humidity, transportation by sea and others).