It was only the second ever Russian-made rocket, weighing 2.2 tons and launched with military or (at most) join industrial/military purposes; the launch was made from the European Space Agency.

Surprisingly enough, it was financed by France’s defence ministry, and built with Italian-French joint venture Thales Alenia Space, costing almost 1 billion dollars. The satellite will also deploy four other smaller satellites which will work for the French military, intended as a novel way to detect radars all the way from outer space, through their electromagnetic signature.

Soyuz is a Cold War veteran of space whose lineage can be traced back to 1957 with Sputnik, the first satellite, and to the first manned flight, by Yuri Gagarin, in 1961.

Via Physorg

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