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Russia to orbit three military satellites

RIA Novosti

23/05/2008 13:22 MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Rokot launch vehicle is to put into orbit three military satellites and a civilian spacecraft, a satellite designer and manufacturer said on Friday.

The Reshetnev Applied Mechanics Science and Production Association said on its website the carrier rocket will be launched later today from the Plesetsk space center, in northwest Russia.

The Rokot launch vehicle, developed by the state-run Khrunichev Center, is a modification of the RS-18 (SS-19 Mod.1 Stiletto) two-stage ballistic missile that is being decommissioned from Russia's Strategic Missile Forces. The rocket is designed to put spacecraft weighing less than two tons into near-earth orbits.

All commercial launches involving Rokots are carried out by Evrorokot, a joint venture in which the Khrunichev Center holds a 49% stake, and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company holds 51%.

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