Russia’s first launch in 2019, putting an Egyptian Earth observation satellite in orbit with their Soyuz rocket, has had problems reaching its planned orbit.
Fregat is released shortly afterwards, firing its S5.98M engine to inject EgyptSat-A into an initial transfer orbit. Fregat will likely make a second burn following a coast phase – typically around 45 minutes after the first burn – circularise the orbit. After this burn EgyptSat-A separated, and Fregat will make an additional deorbit burn to dispose of itself into the atmosphere.
It was during the Fregat burn that Russian media reported it was tracking in a lower orbit than planned, although various reports point to the issue occurring during either the third stage flight or during the first Fregat burn.
Amazingly, Roscosmos then noted the mission was a success, potentially achieved by Fregat burning longer to catch up with the shortfall.
Remember, this is the rocket and aerospace nation that NASA prefers to use to send our astronauts into space. This is the second launch problem during a Soyuz launch in less than six months.
The standings in the 2019 launch race:
The U.S. and China remain tied at 2 in the national rankings. A SpaceX launch is set for tonight however.
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