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July 25th, 2014
Russia Breaks the Concurrent Satellite Launch Record

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On June 5th a retired Russian ICBM (a 217 ton RS-20/SS-18) launched a record 37 satellites at once (actually at 30 second intervals) after the third stage achieved the intended 630 kilometer high orbit. The RS-20 has a max satellite payload of nearly three tons. That means the average satellite weighed about 60 kg (132 pounds). Some of the 37 satellite were quite a bit heavier and most of the 37 were microsatellites (under 10 kg/22 pounds). Russia only has a few dozen of the RS-20s left but three times as many of the smaller (106 ton) RS-18/SS-19 ICBMS for this sort of thing. These retired ICBMs have proved economical and popular for launching the growing number of highly capable but lightweight satellites. Read More via Strategy Page

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