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Russia Loses Contact With Satellite Launcher

28 October 2005 -- Russian space officials have lost contact with a rocket launched yesterday that was carrying eight satellites.

The Mozhayets-5 rocket was launched from Russia's northern Plesetsk space center on 27 October.

Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported the third stage of the rocket's boosters failed to detach from the rocket.

AFP reported that the launcher was carrying a Russian military satellite, as well as satellites belonging to Iran, China, the United Kingdom, the European Space Agency, Norway, Germany, and Japan.

The Iranian satellite, a Sina-1 communications satellite, is that country's first. In July, a senior Iranian official said Tehran plans to launch three satellites over the next three years.

All seven foreign satellites were placed in orbit but Russian space officials said they are not receiving any signal from the rocket itself.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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