Russia puts 38 foreign satellites into orbit
Video published by the Russian space agency Roscosmos showed its Soyuz rocket launching against grey and cloudy skies at 0607 GMT.
"The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft from 18 countries took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome," Roscosmos said on its Twitter account.
Later Monday, Roscosmos said in a statement that the rocket had successfully placed into orbit the 38 satellites from more than a dozen countries, including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy and Brazil.
Among them was the Challenge-1, the first satellite made completely in Tunisia, which was created by the Telnet telecommunications group.
The launch was twice postponed from Saturday after a surge in voltage was detected.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian space sector has lagged behind international competitors, plagued by corruption scandals and technological stagnation.
In 2018, a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut failed mid-flight, forcing the crew to carry out an emergency landing. Both survived without injuries.