MOSCOW --- The Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket took off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome Friday, carrying a Ministry of Defense spacecraft, the Ministry announced Friday.
"At 10:31 Moscow time, the Aerospace Forces’ Space Forces crew successfully completed launch of a Soyuz-2.1b middle class carrier rocket with a Ministry of Defense spacecraft from launch pad 4 of site 43 of the Plesetsk Cosmodrome," the Ministry reported.
According to the Ministry, all preparations went smoothly. The launch was controlled by a ground-based automated control complex. This is the third Soyuz-2 launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in 2020.
The Soyuz-2 rocket’s flight tests began in 2004. Over the next 16 years, 45 rockets blasted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, including rocket revisions 1a, 1b and 1v.
The Soyuz-2 carriers replaced the Soyuz-U rockets which were in service between 1973 and 2012. During this period, 435 Soyuz-U launches took place, delivering about 430 spacecraft of various purpose to the orbit.