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Soyuz-2.1a rocket assembled with 38 spacecraft

(15 March 2021 - Roscosmos) Preparations are being finalizing at the Baikonur Cosmodrome for the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket and Fregat booster carrying the CAS500-1 as main payload and a cluster of rideshare payloads from almost 20 countries.

In accordance with the schedule, the joint team of Roscosmos enterprises’ specialists has completed space rocket general assembly.

soyuz 1

(courtesy: Roscosmos)

On March 12, the ascent unit was assembled consisting of the booster and spacecraft cluster under the payload fairing. Today, on March 15, 2021, the block of the third stage and the ascent unit was docked to the first and second stage unit. After mechanical docking, electrical connectors were docked and thermostat pipes were installed.

The Soyuz-2.1a rocket is scheduled to liftoff on March 20, 2021 from launcher No. 6 of Site No. 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The rocket is to inject 38 spacecraft from 18 countries into low-Earth orbit. The payload includes the Korean CAS500-1 Earth remote sensing spacecraft as the primary payload, Japanese ELSA-d space debris docking and removal spacecraft; four Japanese GRUS spacecraft; the Saudi Arabia’s optical Earth observation NAJM-1 and others.