On April 19, 2013 at 10:00 UTC the "Soyuz-2.1a” rocket-carrier was launched from Baykonur Cosmodrome. The rocket orbited the ‘Bion-1M” biological satellite. Aboar the satellite there are over one hundred living creatures as its "crew". The 6300-kg Bion-M vehicle will return to Earth on May 18 after over 70 experiments. Aboard the Bion-M vehicle are mice, lizards, snails as well as strains of bacteria, plants and seeds. The rocket has also placed six small communication satellites made in Germany, the United States, Republic of Korea on a near-earth orbit at an average altitude of 575 km.