Russian Rocket Struck By Lightning Mid Takeoff
A Russian rocket has successfully delivered a satellite to orbit despite being struck by lightning just seconds after take-off.
The Soyuz-2-1b rocket took off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome -- about 800 kilometres north of Moscow -- on Monday morning local time.
But things quickly took a dramatic turn when just seconds later, a bolt of lightning struck.
The uncrewed rocket continued upwards unfazed and, according to the Russian Military of Defence, successfully deployed a replacement satellite for the GLONASS navigation system to low-Earth orbit a few hours later.
Video of the launch was shared on social media by Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin.
"Lightning is not an obstacle to you," he said on Twitter while congratulating the launch team and military Space Forces on a job well done.
The satellite was unharmed and all systems on-board the rocket continued to function normally throughout the mission.
Roscosmos Soyuz 2-1b rocket - 1
Lightning - 0
Lightning strikes during rocket launches are relatively rare but certainly not unheard of -- these are giant metal tubes rising in the sky, after all.
One of the most famous examples was during the launch of NASA's Apollo 12 mission to the moon in 1969, when lightning struck a Saturn V rocket not once but twice.
The bolts disrupted some onboard displays for the mission's three-man crew, but Saturn V managed to reach orbit before successfully landing on the moon.