Satellites launched from new Russian spaceport fail to reach target orbit

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Satellites launched from new Russian spaceport fail to reach target orbit

Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos says it has failed to establish contact with Russia's Meteor-M № 2-1 weather satellite, which had been launched atop a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country's Far East on Tuesday.

The glitch follows other failed launches in recent years that tarnished the reputation of Russian space industries.

"During the first planned communication session with the satellite, it was not possible to establish a connection due to its absence in the target orbit", Russia's space corporation said in a statement, adding that further information is now being analyzed.

'Currently all information is being analysed'.

The statement did not provide further details and its representatives declined immediate comment.

The rocket was also carrying 18 other small satellites as secondary payloads, including some from the U.S.

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Earlier Roscosmos said: 'All the initial stages of the rocket's flight went according to plan'.

The first launch from Vostochny spaceport took place in April 2016, with President Vladimir Putin overseeing the take-off.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that such contracts would help Russian Federation modernise its space industry.

The Roscosmos space agency reported that today's liftoff proceeded as planned, using a Soyuz-2-1b variant of Russia's workhorse rocket. The first manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to be launched from Vostochny is not scheduled before 2023.

"The programme of launches will continue next year - it will grow, increase", Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees space, told Medvedev on Monday.

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