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Russia to launch another German spy satellite on March 25

RIA Novosti

20/03/2008 15:49 MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - The launch of a Russian carrier rocket with a German SAR-Lupe satellite from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia has been scheduled for March 25, the Khrunichev Center said on Thursday.

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

"A Russian Cosmos 3M carrier rocket will put the fourth SAR-Lupe satellite into orbit," the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center said.

Russia's Space Forces previously conducted three SAR-Lupe launches in 2006-2007, 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 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs) into low, medium, and high orbits.

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