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Experimental Spacecraft Missing After Successful Test Launch in Russia

07 October 2005

Russia space officials are searching for an experimental spacecraft that was successfully launched from a submarine in the Barents Sea early Friday.

Officials planned for the craft, called Demonstrator, to blast off on a converted Volna missile, then descend toward the Kura test range on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The Demonstrator reportedly detached from its carrier as planned and began its descent. However, searchers have not been able to locate the craft.

The spacecraft was built for the European Space Agency and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company.

The Demonstrator is designed to carry cargo, including passengers into space. The collapsible spacecraft is being considered as a less expensive option for transporting cargo to the international space station.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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