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Russia to launch German satellite on November 1

RIA Novosti

30/10/2007 14:27 MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Cosmos 3M carrier rocket will launch on November 1 a German SAR-Lupe satellite from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

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

"The launch of a Cosmos-3M carrier rocket with a SAR-Lupe satellite has been scheduled for November 1," the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.

It is the third time Russia will launch a German military spacecraft from the Plesetsk space center.

Russia's Space Forces successfully conducted SAR-Lupe launches in December 2006 and July 2007, under a 2003 contract between Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and German Cosmos International Satellitenstart Gmbh (a subsidiary of OHB Systems AG), which stipulates five SAR-Lupe launches until 2009.

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.

Meanwhile, Russia has started preparations for a launch of an Israeli AMOS-3 satellite from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The launch of a modified Zenit rocket to carry the satellite has been scheduled for March 2008.

"For the first time, a three-stage Zenit SLB carrier rocket with DM-SL booster will be used to put a satellite into a geostationary orbit," Russia's Federal Space Agency said Tuesday.

All previous launches of this version of the Zenit rocket have been conducted by the Sea Launch consortium's floating launch platform in the Pacific Ocean.

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