Dnepr rocket with foreign satellites launched from Orenburg region

A Dnepr rocket carrier with a cluster of foreign satellites has been launched from the Yasny launch site in Russia's Orenburg region

"The launch of the Dnepr converted rocket and the insertion of foreign spacecraft into orbit took place at 11:10 a.m.," a spokesman of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces said.

The rocket carries a cluster of satellites from a number of countries: DubaiSat-2 (the United Arab Emirates), STSat-3 (South Korea), UniSat-5 (Italy), SkySat-1 and AprizeSat-7/8 (both the United States), Brite-PL (Poland), GOMX-1 (Denmark), WNISat (Canada), and nine ISIPOD containers with 14 CubeSat nanosatellites (the Netherlands) and BPA-3 satellite (Ukraine).

"All spacecraft have successfully detached from the booster. A command has been given to make the separation maneuver," it was announced in the observation center of the Yasny launch site.

The DubaiSat-2 Earth-remote sensing satellite is the largest in the cluster. It weighs approximately 300 kilograms. The STSat-3 astronomical satellite weighing 170 kilograms is the second largest in the cluster.

Dnepr rockets are converted from RS-20 Voyevoda intercontinental ballistic missiles (NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan). The Kosmotras international space company operates the conversion program. The company launches small satellites from Baikonur and from the Yasny launch site in Russia's Orenburg region.

The consortium has carried out 17 successful Dnepr launches since 1999.

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