The launch of a Soyuz-U carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia on Thursday was the last in its 40-year history, spokesman for Russia’s Space Forces Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.
The Soyuz-U orbited on Thursday a Cosmos-series reconnaissance satellite to expand Russia’s Oko (Eye) orbital missile early warning network, which consists of about 70 satellites.
“The launch on May 17 of a medium class Soyuz-U carrier rocket from Plesetsk was the last for this type of launch vehicles,” Zolotukhin said.
The first launch of a Soyuz-U was conducted from the Plesetsk Space Center on May 18, 1973. A total of 434 launches have been carried out, orbiting about 430 spacecraft.
“The Soyuz-U will be replaced by Soyuz-2 and Angara-A3 medium class carrier rockets,” Zolotukhin said.