Russia's Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket has sent 73 satellites into space, marking the biggest simultaneous launch of satellites in the country’s history.
A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket equipped with a Fregat booster launched the Kanopus-V-IK and 72 associated small satellites from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome spaceport, Russia’s Roscosmos space agency was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying on Friday.
Kanopus-V-IK satellite is specialized in detecting hotspots of fire and monitoring emergencies.
The Mayak microsatellite, which was among the satellites launched on Friday, is set to be the brightest man-made object in orbit as it will unfurl a giant pyramid-shaped solar reflector once it begins to orbit in space.
Mayak, named after he Russian word for “beacon,” will be the fourth-brightest object in space after the Sun, the Moon, and Venus.
Some of the satellites reportedly belong to a number of operators from Japan, Norway, Canada and the US.
Russian news agencies later reported that about eight hours after lift-off, the satellites had successfully separated.
The Fregat booster sent the satellites into three different orbits. It will leave orbit and fall back to a designated area in the Indian Ocean after accomplishing the mission.
Russia’s previous record was set at 36 satellites carried by a Dnepr carrier rocket launched from the Kapustin Yar military launch range in 2014.
In February, India broke a world record after sending 104 satellites into space from a single rocket.

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