28th November 2017
On November 28, 2017, a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage lifted off from the Vostochny launch site. The launch mission was to deliver meteorological Meteor-M No. 2-1 satellite and 18 secondary payloads, including 14 CubeSats provided by ECM Launch Services, into their target orbits.
According to the flight program, the first three stages of Soyuz-2.1b have taken the ascent unit into the specified intermediate orbit. All initial phases of the launch vehicle flight were nominal. After 9 minutes and 23 seconds of flight, the upper stage Fregat separated from the Soyuz 3rd stage and started to implement the payloads orbital injection. During the first planned communication session with the primary satellite, it was not possible to establish a connection due to its absence in the target orbit. However, the Soyuz-2/Fregat launch system has failed to inject the Meteor-M No. 2-1 SC with a cluster of smallsats.
Currently, the investigation of what might have happened is in progress in Roscosmos. ECM Launch Services is in continuous contact with a launch services provider Glavkosmos for any possible updates on the situation and the schedule of upcoming launches.
ECM Launch Services keeps all the CubeSat customers informed on investigation and is fully committed to minimize losses for each customer on this mission and to find another launch opportunity on one of the upcoming Soyuz missions.