Russia has launched its Soyuz 2-1A rocket in a surprise mission from the Plesetsk cosmodrome at 15:24 UTC. The launch, using a rocket that recently failed during the Progress M-27M mission, was clouded under secrecy due to its payload, the Kobalt-M spy satellite – rumored to be the final film-return photo reconnaissance spacecraft.
Soyuz 2-1A Launch:
The Soyuz 2-1 rocket is derived from the earlier Soyuz-U and the Soyuz 11A511 before that – and first flew in November 2004.
The rocket was intended as an eventual replacement for all of the Soyuz and Molniya variants then in service. Continue reading