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Russia set to launch defense spacecraft from domestic soil soon

RIA Novosti

11/12/2006 16:39 MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's defense ministry said Monday it intends to begin spacecraft launches from domestic soil in three years.

Russia's Defense Ministry currently uses the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan and the Svobodny space centre in the Amur Region in the Russian Far East for its spacecraft launches.

"We plan to transfer the launches of defense and dual-purpose spacecraft to our [Russian] soil," Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said at a meeting of the Russian president with Cabinet members.

Ivanov, who is also deputy prime minister, said the Defense and Industry Commission will discuss Monday the issue of creating Angara booster rockets and launch pads.

Ivanov said the Moscow-based Khrunichev research and production center is developing Angara booster rockets, while the Plesetsk space center in the Arkhangelsk region in Russia's north is building launch infrastructure.

According to Ivanov, the fuel to be used in Angara rockets will also help solve serious environmental problems.

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