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Russian launch goes awry; 19 satellites lost

Soyuz launch
A Soyuz rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East. (Roscosmos Photo)

Russia’s Meteor-M 2-1 weather satellite and 18 nanosatellites went missing today after their launch aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East.

Among the lost spacecraft were 10 satellites that were supposed to be put in orbit for San Francisco-based Spire Global and become part of the company’s Lemur-2 Earth observation network. Two remote-sensing satellites from Astro Digital, a Silicon Valley space venture, were lost as well.

The launch failure is likely to raise new questions about the capabilities of the Russian space program and its controversial multibillion-dollar effort to create the Vostochny launch complex as an alternative to the decades-old Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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