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Russia puts German satellite into orbit - Space Forces

RIA Novosti

03/07/2007 08:55 MOSCOW, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Cosmos 3M carrier rocket launched from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia has put a German SAR-Lupe satellite into orbit, a spokesman for the Space Forces said Tuesday.

"The satellite was put into orbit at 00.06 a.m. Moscow time (8.06 p.m. GMT Monday)," Alexey Zolotukhin said.

It is the second time Russia has launched a German military spacecraft from the Plesetsk space center. Russia's Space Forces successfully conducted the first SAR-Lupe launch in December last year.

In 2003, Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and German COSMOS International Satellitenstart Gmbh (a subsidiary of OHB Systems AG) signed a contract to launch five SAR-Lupe satellites until 2009.

The German satellite system is designed to provide high-resolution radar images to NATO military commanders in Europe. It offers a spatial resolution of less than 1 meter, and allows imaging at night and through clouds.

The Cosmos-3M is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket, first launched in 1967, with over 410 successful launches to date. The booster has been designed to lift a payload of up to 1500 kg (3,300 lbs) into low, medium, and high orbits.

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