MOSCOW: Russia has successfully launched the first rocket from its new space facility after a last-minute delay the day before.
The Soyuz 2.1a booster blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far Easter in the early hours Moscow time on Thursday. The Roscosmos space agency said in a statement that the three satellites the rocket was carrying orbited several hours later.
The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was called off 1 ½ minute before the planned lift off. President Vladimir Putin flew to Vostochny for the launch and had to extend his stay in orrder to see it on Thursday.
The construction of the facility some 5,500 kilometers (3,500 miles) east of Moscow has been troubled by delays and corruption scandals.