Russia’s newly built Vostochny Cosmodrome conducted its first space launch Thursday, a day after it was delayed following a technical glitch. A representative of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, told RIA Novosti that three satellites — Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 — launched using a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket were all successfully put into orbit.
The rocket was launched from the launch pad at Vostochny Cosmodrome in the remote Amur region near China's border, Reuters reported, citing state media. Russian President Vladimir Putin was reportedly present at the launch event.
“I want to congratulate you. There’s a lot to be proud of,” Putin told Roscosmos staff following the successful launch. “The launch could technically have taken place yesterday, but the hardware overreacted and it was aborted. But that’s a normal occurrence.
“Most importantly, the launch complex you developed is operating, functioning well,” Putin added. “There’s a lot of work up ahead, but this was certainly a very serious, significant step in the development of Russian cosmonautics.”
Putin had criticized Roscosmos and government officials after Wednesday's launch was called off following technical glitches, saying "there should be an appropriate reaction."
The launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket was delayed due to a failure of the rocket's automatic control system.
"The first launch from a new pad is an important and sensitive event. Things like this happen. We will work it out,” the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Igor Komarov, said Wednesday.