A bolt of lightning struck a Russian Soyuz carrier rocket only moments after liftoff during the first launching this year of a rocket from the Plesetsk spaceport near Mirny, northern Russia.
The Chief of Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Major-General Nikolai Nestechuk, reported on Monday that at about ten seconds into its flight, lightning struck the ship that was carrying a Glonass-M navigation satellite, Russian media agency TASS reported.
Nestechuk also insisted that neither the rocket nor the payload the rocket was carrying was damaged by the strike.
“The launch was carried out in the normal mode. The weather is not an obstacle, and we [the Space Force of Russia’s Aerospace Forces] are all-weather troops. This is yet another proof that lightning cannot damage our aerospace weapons,” Nestechuk boasted.
According to a space center source, the lightning hit the nosecone of the rocket during Monday’s launch.
“During the liftoff, lightning struck the nose fairing and the third stage of the carrier rocket, which was recorded by telemetric data transmitted from the rocket to the ground-based control center,” TASS added.
The rocket later delivered the satellite to its proper destination, apparently in working order.
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