|A Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket succesfully lifted-off from Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Saturday, December 5. But its primary satellite failed to separate from the upper stage later in the launch. Photo Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense|
A Russian satellite failed to separate from a Soyuz upper-stage rocket following a successful lift-off on Saturday, according to Russian state media.
The Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifted-off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome (located approximately 500 miles north of Moscow) at 5:09 p.m. local time on December 5 carrying two ocean and weather research satellites. However, the primary mission satellite, Kanopus-ST, failed to reach its intended orbit because at least one of the four locks holding the spacecraft to the upper stage malfunctioned, the TASS News Agency reported.
This is the third failure for Russia's Space Program this year. In April, a Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft carrying supplies to the International Space Station spun out of control and fell back to Earth. One month later, a Russian Proton-M rocket carrying a Mexican communications satellite crashed in Siberia in May.