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Russia Postpones Launch Of U.S. Communications Satellite

6 December 2005 -- Russia's space agency today postponed indefinitely the launch of a U.S. communications satellite, citing a flaw in the Russian booster rocket.

The Proton-M rocket was due to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russia's Federal Space Agency hopes to reschedule the launch for later in December following repairs to a set of control equipment in the booster rocket.

The booster was built by the Khrunichev space firm. A similar failure of a Khrunichev booster rocket was blamed for the loss in October of a 120 million euro ($141 million) satellite belonging to the European Space Agency.

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

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