This time Vladimir Putin was able to see how Soyuz-2.1a is lifting off and fly through clear sky to put into orbit three satellites: MVL-300, SamSat-218 and Ainst-2D.
There was no place for second mistake during 1860th launch of Soyuz rocket. After postponing flight due the problems with cable connected to valve in fuel tank placed in the third stage, Roscosmos had last chance to confirm that Vostochny cosmodrome and Soyuz will be reliable solution for future commercial launches. Problems with automated launch control system were solved after finding main reason of the problem. It was cable connected to valve of fuel tank in third stage. Due the broken cable launch control system was not able to check if valve is securely closed and countdown procedure was aborted. After swapping cable problem was fixed and today everything went fine maybe in spite of not particularly happy faces of Igor Komarov and Dmitry Rogozin which surely got some sharp word from Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately no live video from Soyuz itself was transmitted during first and second attempt.
Soyuz-2.1a with Volga upper stage lifted off today as first rocket in history, from Vostochny cosmodrome punctually at 02:01 GMT. According to flight plan course of the rocket was set to North West with inclination 97.272° toward the Equator. Four boosters and central core started to work with full power of their RD-107A (boosters) and RD-108A (core) engines. Summary thrust increased to impressive 4000 kN. At T+1’57″74″‘ boosters separated and rocket was continuing flight powered only by single engine of the first stage. At T+3’41″67′” payload fairing separated. After one minute, at T+4’47″25′” second stage shut down engine and separated; third stage started its RD-0110 engine which begun to work with thrust at 298 kN. Engine was operating for over two minutes to cut off at T+8’44″17′”. After four seconds of ballistic flight, Volga separated from third stage at T+8’48″32′”. First burn of 17D61 engine, which was designed to give 2.94 kN of thrust, was performed at T+50’48″32′” on altitude of around 500 km and was finished at T+53’20″72′”. Last burn started 43 minutes later at T+1h36’53″32″‘ and lasted for 3 minutes to T+1h39’05″02′”. For next 25 minutes Volga was continuing ballistic flight until T+2h05’28″32′” when SamSat-218 separated from the upper stage. After ten seconds at T+2h05’38″32″‘ MVL-300 and Aist-2D separated from Volga. According to NORAD, MVL-300 remains on planned orbit with perigee at 468 kilometers and inclination of 97.3°.