MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. The launch of the Russian Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket that is to blast off to orbit 38 satellites from 18 countries together with a Fregat booster, from the Baikonur spaceport has been postponed to March 22, Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin told TASS on Saturday.
"The launch has been rescheduled to Monday," he said.
The postponement is due to a problem with ground-based equipment, which has already been rectified, according to Rogozin. Meanwhile, a representative of Roscosmos noted that the decision to reschedule the launch was made at a meeting focusing on the results of the rocket’s tests after the technical problem was identified in the morning. The launch is planned for early March 22, the state corporation added.
Roscosmos said in a statement on Telegram earlier that it rescheduled the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Fregat booster and 38 foreign spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport for a backup date. The corporation said later that the launch would take place at 09:07 Moscow time (06:07 GMT) on March 21.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket will orbit CAS500-1 Earth’s remote sensing satellite (the Republic of Korea), Japan’s ELSA-d space junk removal craft, the Japanese GRUS Earth’s remote sensing micro-satellites, Saudi Arabia’s NAJM-1 Earth imaging and communications small satellite and communications satellites of Berlin Technical University. It is also expected to put into orbit the first D33 satellite of Russia’s Higher School of Economics, a CubeSat developed by the Sirius Center and Higher School of Economics and an OrbiCraft-Zorkiy satellite belonging to Russia’s private company Sputnix.